A score of 22 goals to 1 at the final whistle, that’s an unusual result in football! It is however the one on which parted, Sunday, May 8, AC Arles and FC Septèmes, two amateur clubs playing in Regional 2, the seventh level of French football.
The outcome of the match, which was part of the penultimate day of the championship, immediately aroused many reactions and created controversy. To the point that the Mediterranean League, on which the two clubs depend, took up the case and that its disciplinary committee was to officially open an investigation, Wednesday, May 11.
“I asked my services to open a disciplinary file of suspicion of fraud with an investigation,” Eric Borghini, the president of the League, told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.
The rise to the next level in play
The result of the match raises all the more questions and suspicions as it allowed AC Arles to regain the lead in the championship ahead of FC Martigues, first place being synonymous with climbing to the next level, Regional 1.
Prior to this game, Martigues was leading ahead of Arles: the two teams were tied on points, only decided by goal difference (3) in favor of Martigues.
According to several witnesses, the usual FC Septèmes team was not on the field and played with its reserve team. Who herself was unable to field enough players, which led the coach and an educator over 50 to put on their cleats…
In Martigues, Alain Nersessian, the president does not hide his anger: “It’s a real scandal. We are obliged to ask ourselves questions and to doubt this result. Obviously we will look into this match in order to be able to understand what could have led to this unimaginable score.
“We wanted to finish the season without forfeiting”
“All week, the Arles players have worked to prepare for this decisive match in the final stretch of the championship, at the rate of four training sessions”, argued the Arles club, in a press release published on Monday May 9 and posted on his Facebook account. “The coach, Michel Estevan, particularly insisted on the offensive work”, added the club to explain the extent of the score.
“Logic would have us take 30 or 40 goals,” said Salah Nasri, president of FC Septèmes, to the daily La Provence on Monday. “We wanted to finish the season honourably, without forfeiting and thus maintaining the ethics of the championship,” he added about the composition of the team. “I never would have done that knowing the noise it was going to make. I would have agreed to a result that wasn’t going to alert everyone.”
The decision of the Disciplinary Committee will be communicated at the end of a procedure which will take place over several weeks. She should appoint a reporter to investigate this match. This will hear the referee of the match, the delegate and the leaders of the clubs.