Colombia ends match-fixing probe, Magdalena promoted

The Colombian football league ends the first part of an investigation into a possible case of match fixing and ratifies promotion to the top tier for Union Magdalena.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: According to the Colombian football league, evidence examined showed the players or staff “had not participated in any reproachable conduct.”   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Colombian football league has ended the first part of an investigation into a possible case of match fixing and ratified promotion to the top tier for one of the clubs involved.

Second tier club Llaneros played Union Magdalena at home on December 4 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.

The result meant that Union Magdalena was promoted to the top tier, the Dimayor league, although the promotion was suspended pending the league investigation.

“The Magdalena players... showed loyalty, mutual respect and dignity towards their rivals on the field of play,” said the league’s resolution, which was released late on New Year’s Eve.

Evidence examined showed the players or staff “had not participated in any reproachable conduct,” it added.

“As a consequence, the actions during the game under investigation do not constitute an infraction” and Union Magdalena deserves its place in the top division.

The investigation into Llaneros will continue, a Dimayor source told Reuters. The result of a separate investigation by judicial authorities is still to be made public.

Colombian president Ivan Duque was one of many prominent figures who commented on the suspicious winning goal that went viral. Duque called it “a national embarrassment” and national team players came to the same conclusion, with Juan Cuadrado, captain of Italian side Juventus, and his Colombian team-mate, Matheus Uribe, both expressing their disgust at the events.

Both clubs denied any wrongdoing.

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