Swedish league game canceled because of match-fixing attempt
STOCKHOLM (AP) A Swedish league soccer match between Goteborg and AIK was called off Thursday because of an apparent match-fixing attempt.
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Swedish soccer federation general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said it was “a very serious attack against Swedish football and we will never, never accept it.”
The match had been scheduled for Thursday in Goteborg.
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The federation said an AIK player was offered “a substantial amount ... if he actively contributes to the club losing the evening’s planned match.” The Aftonbladet daily reported that Goteborg said its goalkeeper was approached.
Sjostrand said he was informed of the attempt late Wednesday, adding he regretted to postpone the game which he described as “one of the season’s finest moments.”
Goteborg chairman Frank Andersson said he was informed that “that one or several players had been approached and offered money to help lose the match.”
Andersson said he “fully backed the decision” to postpone the match.
“One thinks, this is not going to happen to us. Then it becomes real and one has to digest it,” Andersson said. “I don’t think one should be naive. We have worked with this for quite some time.”
Swedish police spokesman Fredrik Gardare said authorities were “taking this seriously,” but refused to give details about the investigation.
“Those who try to pressure players either with threats or bribes will have a tough time,” Gardare said.
AIK, a team based in Stockholm, is in sixth place in the league with 14 points while Goteborg is in 11th with 10 points.
AIK sporting director Bjorn Wesstrom said it had not been decided when the game would be played, adding that the players would not comment on the situation.
Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.