A soccer match between two rival teams in Colombia last month drew a lot of attention, not only during the game but after, as well. Union Magdalena was taking on Llaneros a month ago when Magdalena suddenly gained an advantage as time was running out. There were immediate allegations that the game had been fixed, and an investigation ensued. That investigation has wrapped up and not only did it not find any evidence of wrongdoing, but it also led to Magdalena being promoted to Colombia’s top soccer tier.
Match-Fixing Investigation Continues
Llaneros, a second-tier club, played Union Magdalena at their home on December 4. They led 1-0 until the 95th minute when they were beaten by their rivals. The video of the winning goal reportedly showed Llaneros players backing down their defense and allowing Magdalena the score.
There were immediate calls for an investigation following the incident. Officials got to work, talking to players and reviewing the footage. However, they weren’t able to confirm that any underhanded activity to sway the outcome of the game had occurred.
The soccer league released its results on New Year’s Eve, stating, in part, “The Magdalena players… showed loyalty, mutual respect and dignity towards their rivals on the field of play.”
It added that evidence had been examined and it was clear that the staff or players “had not engaged in any reproachable conduct. “As a consequence, the actions during the game under investigation do not constitute an infraction.”
Magdalena Becomes Part of Dimayor
With that, Union Magdalena was promoted to the top league, Dimayor, with the result that was not finalized until the league’s investigation wrapped up.
A source close to Dimayor told Reuters that the investigation into Llaneros would continue. A separate investigation by judicial officials is still ongoing, as well.
Ivan Duque, the Colombian president, was among many people who commented on the viral win goal. He described it as “a national embarrassment” and players from the national teams came to the same conclusion. Other soccer players from around the world have expressed similar opinions.
Both clubs continue to deny any wrongdoing. However, the ongoing investigations may uncover something they aren’t willing to talk about.