Anger in Colombia after suspicious goal decides promotion

The Colombian football players’ association has called for an investigation into suspicious circumstances surrounding a key promotion match that was decided by a late goal.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Union Magdalena has been promoted to the top tier of Colombian football, thanks to its 2-1 win over Llaneros.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Colombian football players’ association has called for an investigation into suspicious circumstances surrounding a key promotion match that was decided by a late goal one senior player called an “embarrassment for Colombian football.”

Llaneros played Union Magdalena at home on Saturday night and was leading 1-0 until the 95th minute, when the visiting team scored twice in succession. Video of the winning goal appeared to show the Llaneros players backing off their opponents and allowing them to score.

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The result meant that Union Magdalena is promoted to the top tier, the Dimayor league, ahead of Fortaleza, which lost 2-1 at home the same night to Bogota.

“Give the cloak of doubt that the result of the match between @ClubLlanerosFC and @UnionMagdalena has generated, we ask the disciplinary commission of the @Dimayor to carry out a rigorous investigation as soon as possible,” the professional footballers’ association ACOLFUTPRO said in a tweet.

 

Neither of the clubs responded immediately to requests for comment, although Union Magdalena tweeted the result was for “those who think anything is possible.”

Two Colombian internationalists expressed their unease at the happenings. In a tweet, Juan Cuadrado, the captain of Italian side Juventus, called the Union Magdalena goal “a lack of respect.”

His Colombian team-mate, Matheus Uribe, replied, saying it was “an embarrassment for Colombian football.”

Fortaleza coach Nelson Florez broke down in tears at the post-match press conference. While admitting it had not done its part by winning, he nevertheless questioned the outcome. “I am not ashamed to cry, because I feel robbed,” he said. “We can lose, but not this way.”

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