The final set of fixtures of Denmark’s Superliga has been shrouded in controversy.
The league has a rather bizarre relegation playoff system where the bottom eight sides are divided into two pools before they battle it out to survive getting demoted.
However, this bizarre system has led to a club being accused of match-fixing so that they would enter a weaker pool in their battle against relegation.
Let us explain:
Sønderjyske knew they would be in the relegation playoff before their match against FC Midtjylland but, as they near neared its end, they had seemingly worked out that they would be better off losing the match due to other results.
The scores were level at 1-1 entering injury-time, a result that would put Sønderjyske in pool 1 in the relegation playoff – the harder group.
However, they conceded a late goal to their title-challenging opponents.
WHY ARE THEY BEING INVESTIGATED?
So why are they being investigated for match-fixing?
Well, their defending left a lot to be desired. And they weren’t helped with the official’s club Twitter account tweeting:
“It’s the least annoying goal in 89 minutes ever. We are back in the good relegation group,” after conceding their late goal – a tweet that has since been deleted.
The chairman of the Football Disciplinary Body, Jens Hjortskov, confirmed to TV 2 SPORT that the court has opened a case.
WHAT THE DANISH FA HAVE SAID
“We have obviously looked at the outcome of the match – especially the end of the show,” he said.
“We have of course also noted what statements have come from Sønderjyskes side and on this basis we have decided to open a lawsuit against Sønderjyske this evening.
In truth, the whole system – which is in its second year – needs a major revamp.
While you can’t really blame Sønderjyske for trying to take advantage of their situation, the implications could be huge.
FC Midtjylland’s late winner saw them draw level on points with Brondby at the top of the league and could give them the impetus to go on to win the title.