An alleged match-fixing occurred during a Copa Argentina match, Reuters reported. According to the news outlet, an Agropecuario player was handed a red card almost immediately after a match kicked off. The relevant authorities will now take a closer look into the matter and decide whether the player deliberately wanted to be handed a penalty.
Leyendeker Got a Red Card within 8 Minutes
The player in question is Milton Leyendeker from Agropecuario. During his team’s match against the Boca Juniors on August 10, Leyendeker quickly broke the rules. Just eight minutes into the game and the player challenged Exequiel Zeballos, a player from the opposing team. As a result, Zeballos got his ankle badly hurt. Leyendeker, on the other hand, was immediately handed a red card for the rough play.
Boca Juniors still ended up winning the match despite Zeballos’ injury. After finishing the game with a 1-0 result, the team advanced to the Copa Argentina quarterfinals. Zeballos, however, needed a surgery to fix his injured ankle.
Since the incident happened quite early on, some suggested that Leyendeker committed the offense on purpose. Local media reported that the soccer pro may have been motivated by a sports bet. Argentine authorities, therefore, decided to investigate the case and see whether there is some truth to these claims.
Some Suggested Leyendeker Participated in Match-Fixing
Prosecutor Celsa Ramirez will be responsible for investigating the match day and seeing whether relevant sports bets were placed on that day. Ramirez will notably check if there were any people that wagered on a red card incident in the early game.
Ramirez emphasized that match-fixing is illegal and that such bets are considered to constitute fraud. Since she takes this matter very seriously, her team will check if the media reports are correct.
Meanwhile, Leyendeker denied the match-fixing allegations. He was shocked to hear people believe he would fix a game against his own team and deliberately leave Agropecuario short on one player. Leyendeker noted that he loves soccer just as much as the rest of his team and emphasized that he would never do something as lowly as fixing games.
Match-fixing is one of the biggest threats to sports. Fixed games undermine the integrity of sports leagues and exploit sports betting operators. As a result, many sports organizations and betting operators have been desperately working to crack down on match-fixing. To that end, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation recently joined forces with Sportradar to fight against fraud in professional soccer.