controversy swells after 22-1 win, Arles defends against every arranged match

The small world of Provençal football is wondering this Monday whether the Regional 2 Mediterranean League match ended Sunday with a 22-1 river win for AC Arles against FC Septèmes. Especially since the result could affect the race for the climb. Each in their own way, the two clubs claim to be in good faith.

Arles-Septèmes was not a rugby or handball match, but a football match. Contrary to what the more than unbalanced score, 22-1, would suggest. An astonishing and very great success that sent a smell of scandal over Provence this Monday.

With this almost unreal victory, the Arlesians, trained by Michel Estevan, passed at the top of Pool C of Regional 2 Mediterranean League on Sunday evening. Thanks, of course, to a better goal difference than the now ex-leader FC Martigues.

The result of the match in “reserve”

The latter, the first to be hit by this river difference between the two teams on this penultimate day, casts doubt on this result. Alarmed by this score and the many reactions to it, the Mediterranean League has launched an investigation into this match. The result of which, announced by Arles on his social networks without displaying the score, remains for the time being in “reserve” on the League site.

AC Arles (formerly Arles Avignon, formerly in Ligue 1 in 2010-11) say it is “quiet” and one of its members confirms “there was no contact between the two clubs in the days leading up to the match”. Moreover, there were several educators in the stands of the stadium and, according to them, no arrangement took place. They just saw a “completely demobilized team”. The officials did not write a report at the end of the meeting, nothing seemed problematic to them.

An Arles official: “Why would we have done that?”

The Arles club puts forward several reasons to explain this crazy result:

– For a match to be played at 3:00 PM, the Septèmes team arrived at 2:30 PM and only warmed up for 10 minutes.

– Septèmes put together a more than bis team, with a 50-year-old reserve coach who was forced to play on the field and not a seasoned goalkeeper, who didn’t even have gloves.

– The team from the outskirts of Marseille had already dropped out of the championship, as they had already been relegated to the district.

“Scoring 22 goals, if it is arranged, it turns out, it will be laughable… Why would we have done that?” defends an Arles manager, contacted by RMC Sport. Whose team was defeated 4-1 at Septèmes in the first leg. “It’s very complicated to play there, it’s hot, tense. Our players were scared,” he continues about the first round.

“Absolutely nothing was prepared. You have to be stupid to make mistakes like this,” Salah Nasri, Septèmes president

In their quest for Region 1, the Arles team, which was already leading 8-1 at half-time and continued to play to the maximum, had to win this match by as big a difference as possible. As his competitor in the climb, Martigues, plays against a team from Olympique Novais on the last good last day and whose goal difference is … -95.

Septèmes president: “And again, we should have scored 30 goals”

“The club has been completely demobilized. (…) We went there with the reserve, with a 50-year-old coach in the field. We didn’t even have the veteran level. And yet we should have scored 30 goals, Salah Nasri assured. President of Septèmes, this Monday in L’Equipe. Absolutely nothing was prepared. You would have to be stupid to make mistakes like this. I allow myself the right to attack anyone who dares to say that it is settled.”

And Nasri to go on about his club’s alarming situation: “In the last match, two of our players fought each other and were sent off. There is a general collapse. I even wonder if we could see the seniors there should not stop and focus on the young people. The question about the future of the club is rising.”

RMC Sport contacted Didier Dulcamara, president of Olympique Barbentanais, a small Vaucluse club 6th in this Group C of Regional 2 and opponent of the two clubs earlier in the season on Monday. According to him, the Arles club is “in the hands of serious people, who a priori had no interest in buying these kinds of matches”.

In Martigues we are eagerly looking forward to the results of the research

“Even if in our divisions, it’s common for us to be approached for things like this, but we’ll never do it for us!” Dulcamara said, harshly about the Septèmes club being “in another world”. “It’s a complicated club, we had problems there… And given the mentality, given that they are going downhill next season, I’m not surprised to see them leave.”

The president of the Martigues club Alain Nersessian, who is affiliated in the evening, eagerly awaits the result of the survey carried out by the Mediterranean League in the face of “a rare and simply incredible score”. “There are no suspicions or doubts. But the championship is played on goal average and we had our fate in our own hands. So I am surprised at the state of the game, he admits. A difference of 21 goals at this level, the is rare and simply unbelievable.It is a real subject being put to the League, which seems to be seizing it elsewhere.

“I like to believe in the fact that Septèmes was demobilized, that there weren’t all the players… but I want to believe in sporting fairness. Septèmes wanted to play not to lose, out of a question of dignity. But is it worth more at 22? to take than to lose?, asks Nersessian Today, FC Martigues is in trouble and I want there to be no doubt around the game, so as not to regret it. And I want to know quickly.”

Romain Daveau, with Aurélien Tiercin