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Barca B wins 12-0 sparking allegations of match-fixing

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On Saturday, Barcelona’s B team defeated Spanish third-tier team Eldense 12-0.

Since, all hell has broken loose.

The loss – which equalled the third tier’s record defeat – sealed Eldense’s relegation, but that’s the least of their problems. In the days since the match, the club’s Italian manager was arrested for match-fixing, a few players and the club’s general director were detained as well, and accusations of poor sportsmanship flung at the opponent.

Eldense manager Filippo Vito di Pierro was arrested on Monday for fixing the match, after allegations from players, assistant coaches, and even an agent. Eldense defender Emmanuel Mendy came out publicly, telling Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that he heard instructions from the coaching staff to throw the match. Another player Cheikh Saad also said the match was fixed and thusly refused to play.

Under pressure from Mendy’s comments in particular, assistant coach Fran Ruiz was next to go public, saying his orders came from above. Finally, club president David Aguilar told the media he heard from an agent that there was foul play.

Now, di Pierro has come out on record to say that there was no match-fixing involved, instead directing his wrath at Barcelona B. “After the embarrassment of Saturday’s result, I believe our 20 players are clean,” di Pierro told COPE Radio in Spain. “The Barcelona players did not respect the code of honor between teams,” he added, referring to an unofficial mercy rule. “In fact, our players on the bench requested Barcelona to stop [scoring] and they [Barcelona players] would say: ‘I’m sorry, we can’t.’”

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique made a statement about the situation during his most recent media appearance, calling the story “very unfortunate” and saying, “In other countries we have seen similar situations and they are very unfortunate. Too many people are trying to benefit from football.”

Club executive Nobile Capuani was also taken into custody, along with another coach and a pair of players, including 20-year-old on-loan Valencia midfielder Mike Fernandez.

Six Premier Leaguers named to Argentina, but no Icardi

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Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.

[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]

Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.

The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.

Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.

Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.

Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).

Men in Blazers POD: FA Cup recap, UCL final preview and more

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Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.

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Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla will leave Arsenal

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Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]

And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.

In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.

Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.

Wolfsburg keeps Bundesliga spot with playoff win

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Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.

Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.

U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.