Investigation into 22-1 result in French lower leagues dropped

L’Équipe report that the investigation into a regional Mediterranean league match that ended in a 22-1 result for Arles against Septèmes into alleged fraud has been dismissed.

The match, which was played as part of the final day of the Régional 2 (seventh tier) was originally suspended as a result of suspicions over a potential arrangement between the two sides.

The home side are the phoenix club of former Ligue 1 team Arles-Avignon, who were dissolved due to their financial situation and have started again in the regional divisions.

The result helped Arles leapfrog Martigues reserves to first place in Pool C of the league, which saw them secure promotion to Régional 1 in much-disputed circumstances.

The league’s commission had decided to open an investigation into the result, with both teams denying any wrongdoing. The investigation saw 50 people called up for hearings – players and management – although only 20 would show up to defend themselves.

The Septèmes president Salah Nasri had notably indicated that his club wanted to forfeit the game due to a lack of players, with the team being forced to play with the manager and the goalkeeper as outfied players, as well as a 50-year-old coach. However, given that the 3-0 win would be unfavourable to Arles, they played the match anyway.

The commission has dropped the case in light of a lack of proof regarding any fraud with regard to the game, indicating that they have given the two teams “the benefit of the doubt”.



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