South American Football - Betting suspended in Argentine relegation battle

International online bookmakers have not included Racing Club's controversial Argentine championship match at relegation-threatened Quilmes on Friday in their bets for the weekend.

Reuters
South American Football - Independiente relegated for first time
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Independiente (Reuters)

Bookmakers like Bwin may have acted on pamphlets circulated at Racing last weekend threatening the players if they did not lose, the sports daily Ole said on Thursday.

"Players, lose or things will turn rotten," said the pamphlets. "In '83 the Reds sent us to the B (division) In '95, Independiente held back against Velez (Sarsfield) and we weren't champions."

Although it is not known who circulated the leaflets, Racing's hardcore fans allegedly would rather see arch-rivals Independiente relegated for the first time than their own team beating Quilmes.

Ole quoted a member of one unnamed Spanish bookmakers saying: "We don't know why (the match is not included) but it's not illogical to think it might be over suspicion of a fix."

The Quilmes v Racing Club game is not one of this weekend's nine Argentine first division matches available for bets on Bwin and miapuesta.

"What's being said is stupid, no player goes onto the pitch to lose. Forget it," said Quilmes president Anibal Fernandez of rumours of a fix.

Independiente midfielder Hernan Fredes said: "I don't think the threats of some fans will have an influence. I'd put my hands in the fire for Racing."

Independiente are in the bottom three of the relegation table based on teams' average points over three seasons and if they stay there after the last four matches of the Clausura championship they will play in the second-tier Primera B Nacional next season.

However, their form has improved, taking 11 points from their last five matches, while Quilmes, the lowest-placed team outside the bottom three, have collected only five.

The Red Devils, record seven-times South American club champions, and Boca Juniors are the only teams never to have been relegated from the first division.

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