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Hour after hour, the controversy swells following the 22-1 victory of AC Arles against FC Septèmes in Regional 2 in the Mediterranean League. While the club coached by Michel Estevan regained the lead of the group ahead of FC Martigues thanks to their now neat goal difference, the result of the match was frozen on Monday and an investigation could be opened within the next few hours. But this Monday evening, RMC Sport indicates that the AC Arles club has defended itself from any arranged match.
AC Arles defends itself
The club says it is calm about this match and its result and one of the members of AC Arles explains “that there was no contact between the two clubs in the days preceding the match.” Above all, leaders present at the match confided that they had simply seen a completely demobilized FC Septèmes team. The officials of the meeting would not have, in addition to that, written any report after the match, considering that this meeting had taken place in a normal way.
Arles even put forward several reasons to defend itself from this result, namely:
- For a match played at 3 p.m., the Septèmes team arrived at 2:30 p.m. and warmed up for barely 10 minutes.
- Septèmes lined up a more than bis team, with a 50-year-old reserve coach forced to play on the pitch and no seasoned goalkeeper, who didn’t even have gloves.
- The team from the suburbs of Marseille had already dropped the championship, because they were already relegated to the district.
The president of Septèmes does not think of an arranged match
Above all, one of the club members was contacted by RMC Sport and said: “Scoring 22 goals, if it’s arranged, it shows, it becomes laughable… Why would we have done that?” For his part, the president of FC Septèmes, Salah Nasri, had confided earlier to L’Equipe, admitting: “The club is completely demobilized. (…) We went there with the reserve, with a coach of 50 years in the field. We didn’t even have the veteran level. And still, we should have conceded 30 goals. Absolutely nothing was prepared. You would have to be stupid to make these kinds of mistakes. I leave myself the right to ‘attack anyone who dares to say it was fixed.” Only, on the side of FC Martigues, we continue to be intrigued and the result of a possible investigation is eagerly awaited, as assured by President Alain Nersessian.
“There is no question of having suspicions or doubts. But the championship will be played on goal average and we had our destiny in our hands. I am therefore surprised by the score of the match. A difference of 21 goals at this level, it’s rare and quite simply incredible. It’s a real subject posed to the League, which seems to seize on it elsewhere. I readily believe in the fact that Septèmes was demobilized, that there were not all the players … but I want to believe in sporting fairness. Septèmes wanted to play so as not to forfeit, out of dignity. But is it more worthy to take 22 than to forfeit?, asks Nersessian. Today today, FC Martigues is in difficulty and I want there to be no doubt around the match, so as not to have any regrets. And I want to know quickly”, breathes Nersessian, while this match has not finished talking…
AC Arles speaks out after suspicions of match fixing in R2
While the controversy continues to swell over the match won 22 goals to 1 by AC Arles against FC Septèmes, the victorious club has defended itself from any arranged match. The club says it is calm about a possible investigation…