Several online betting companies stopped taking bets ahead of Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash between Ajaccio and Montpellier after unusually high sums of money were wagered on relegation-threatened Ajaccio earning a home victory. Lo and behold, Ajaccio ended up winning the game, 2-1.
According to a report from Montpellier-based paper Midi Libre, online betting operators and France’s betting watchdog ARJEL were both immediately alerted to the unusual activity, which resulted in operators canceling all bets on the game. ARJEL said it is now investigating the incident.
Sports daily L’Equipeon Tuesday reported that the incident may have come from a bug in the system of France’s state-owned bookmaker, Francaise des Jeux (FDJ), which set the odds of an Ajaccio win mistakenly high, causing the FDJ to stop all bets on the game in order to avoid losing a significant sum of money. As a result, the report claims Sport Radar, a company which monitors odds for France’s professional soccer leagues, is now looking into the matter, as well.
In the end, it was an exciting game: 10-man Ajaccio came-from behind to score two goals in the last ten minutes to grab all three points from last season’s Ligue 1 champion. After the game, Ajaccio PresidentAlain Orsoni told Le Parisienthat allegations of game-fixing were ridiculous. "It's a load of rubbish, it's completely without foundation," he said. "It's incredible! Those who watched the game no doubt saw that nothing had been arranged."