Match-fixing allegations mar Wisła friendly defeat

Accusations of match-fixing have surrounded Wisła Kraków’s friendly defeat against Austrian club LASK Linz in Turkiye on Friday. Suspicious betting patterns and controversial refereeing decisions have swung the spotlight directly onto the match and the referees’ conduct during it.

As reported by Mateusz Miga of TVP Sport, questions begun to be raised after a surge in online betting on the match – particularly in the ‘Over 3.5 goals’ market. Despite the game being tied at 1-1 with around fifteen minutes remaining, over €45,000 is believed to have been wagered on a further two goals being scored – an astronomical amount for such an inconspicuous friendly match.

Then, in the 76th minute, the Austrian club were given a penalty with no apparent infringement having taken place. A video of the controversial incident can be seen below.

While Wisła had already received a controversial penalty to take the lead in the first half, this second decision was incomprehensible. Immediately after the unjust decision, Wisła coach Radosław Sobolewski gathered his players on the sideline, and suggestions of ending the game early were mooted. In the end, the players were convinced to continue; LASK scored the penalty, and then a further goal in the 89th minute to win the match 3-1 and guarantee a payout for those who had gambled on such a result.

Wisła team manager Jarosław Krzoska commented that “what this referee is doing is a joke“, while further comments on the sideline backed up this viewpoint. The club later issued a statement regarding the match:

“Noticing a series of scandalous refereeing decisions in the match between Wisła Kraków and LASK Linz, coach Radosław Sobolewski stopped the match, gathered the team on the pitch after the penalty kick was dictated for the rival and asked to finish the training unit, as well as to control his nerves. Our opponents also opted for such a solution. We trust that international institutions supervising the work of arbitrators will look into this meeting. The club informed the organizer of the camp about its position on this matter.”

Statement from TS Wisła Kraków.

Despite the allegations, there is no suggestion of wrongdoing against either club.

The match was the final one of Wisla’s winter camp on the Turkish coast. They will play a final friendly against Wieczysta Kraków on 3 February, before resuming their I Liga campaign seven days later at home to Resovia Rzeszów.


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