The Allsvenskan game between IFK Göteborg and AIK was postponed due to an attempt of matchfixing. One of the AIK players was two days ahead of the game approached with a suggestion to underperform but rejected the offer and reported the incident to the club. After learning more the league, Swedish FA, the clubs and the police took the unusual decision to postpone the match.
”It is an attack on our football”, said the CEO of the Swedish FA Håkan Sjöstrand in front of the Swedish sports media on Thursday.
”This is sad news to receive, but we also need to remember that AIK actually stopped the matchfixing attempt”, says Mats Enquist, CEO for the league organisation Svensk Elitfotboll.
Svensk Elitfotboll has together with official partner the betting company Svenska Spel worked strategically in the long term to prevent matchfixing by letting the former Allsvenskan player Anders Wikström to visit all the 32 clubs in Allsvenskan and Superettan, the two top divisions, to inform about the risks of matchfixing. Anders Wikström especially informed the players that they have a duty to report any attempt or approach of matchfixing.
”This preventive work is very important. If this case was reported because of the Anders Wikström tour only the AIK player knows but the knowledge we provide when visiting the clubs and their players are an important tool in the struggle against matchfixing”, says Andreas Jerat, media manager at Svenska Spel.
”If there used to be any doubts about matchfixing attempts existed in Allsvenskan then all these doubts now are eliminated. We do not know for sure to what extent matchfixing exists but this is the most high-profile case we know”, Andreas Jerat continues.
What happened in AIK shows that the struggle against matchfixing is more important than ever but also that the system to prevent these criminal acts is improving. During the summer there are plans to expand the matchfixing information tour to also include youth players.