The early qualifying rounds of tournaments like the Europa League are perfect targets for match-fixing.
Little media coverage, often no video, small clubs with players looking to make quick money.
Questions have arisen after Slovenian club FC Luka Koper beat Montenegran side FK Celik Niksic 5-0 in the first round of Europa League qualifying.
The reason so many red flags were raised is the actions of experienced goalkeeper Vladan Giljen, who has formerly played in the Portuguese Primer Liga with CD Nacional.
He played so poorly that people are starting to wonder whether it’s possibly to produce such a disastrous match.
For example, on Koper’s second goal, he literally jumps over the shot in a horrific attempt to make it look like he’s trying. Take a look:
And Giljen wasn’t the only one. According to reports in Montenegro, the Celik players “wandered the pitch” and appeared “uninterested.”
In addition, there’s history with Celik. Back in 2012 Europa League qualifying, they lost to Russian side Metalurg Donetsk a combined 11-2 over two legs. Last year in the same competition, they fell to Hungarian club Budapest Honved FC a combined 13-1.
If such accusations prove true, it’s likely the end of Giljen’s career, a sad ending considering he’s playing for his hometown club.
Koper and Celik will play the second leg this coming week.