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Swedish league game canceled because of match-fixing attempt

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STOCKHOLM (AP) A Swedish league soccer match between Goteborg and AIK was called off Thursday because of an apparent match-fixing attempt.

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Swedish soccer federation general secretary Hakan Sjostrand said it was “a very serious attack against Swedish football and we will never, never accept it.”

The match had been scheduled for Thursday in Goteborg.

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The federation said an AIK player was offered “a substantial amount … if he actively contributes to the club losing the evening’s planned match.” The Aftonbladet daily reported that Goteborg said its goalkeeper was approached.

Sjostrand said he was informed of the attempt late Wednesday, adding he regretted to postpone the game which he described as “one of the season’s finest moments.”

Goteborg chairman Frank Andersson said he was informed that “that one or several players had been approached and offered money to help lose the match.”

Andersson said he “fully backed the decision” to postpone the match.

“One thinks, this is not going to happen to us. Then it becomes real and one has to digest it,” Andersson said. “I don’t think one should be naive. We have worked with this for quite some time.”

Swedish police spokesman Fredrik Gardare said authorities were “taking this seriously,” but refused to give details about the investigation.

“Those who try to pressure players either with threats or bribes will have a tough time,” Gardare said.

AIK, a team based in Stockholm, is in sixth place in the league with 14 points while Goteborg is in 11th with 10 points.

AIK sporting director Bjorn Wesstrom said it had not been decided when the game would be played, adding that the players would not comment on the situation.

Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

VIDEO: Swedish club AIK ditch kids, use pensioners as mascots

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This is awesome.

Swedish club AIK replaced child mascots with a handful of their oldest fans in a wonderful gesture.

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The Swedish top-flight team ditched tradition and tried something different this weekend with each player having an elderly fan walking alongside them as they came out of the tunnel for their game against Gefle IF.

It is part of an initiative to promote discounted tickets for senior citizens who also have a free shuttle bus to the stadium from retirement homes.

Take a look at the video above.

This could catch on you know.

Chicago adds Designated Player striker from Swedish powers AIK

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Chicago missed out on Jermaine Jones in the summer and vowed to bring in some firepower this offseason.

And now they have their first Designated Player slot filled with a man who can add goals to the Fire’s repertoire.

Kennedy Igboananike, 25, is coming to Major League Soccer from Allsvenskan powers AIK. The Nigerian-born Swedish player had an offseason last year, scoring just 6 goals in 31 appearances, but has numbers on his resume. He scored a goal every other game the previous year.

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The question is whether the style of play will translate to MLS. After all, Allsvenskan is arguably a lesser league.

Nonetheless, from MLSSoccer.com:

“Kennedy is a dynamic goal scorer with a track record of producing,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said in a club statement. “He’s young and exciting, a player with incredible pace, and we look forward to adding him to our roster to bolster our attack.”

A product of Dynamos Football Academy in Nigeria, Igboananike made his professional debut with Djurgårdens of the Swedish Allsvenskan on June 19, 2007. The next year proved to be Igboananike’s breakout season, when he transferred to lower-division club Vasalunds and scored a league-high 18 goals, garnering the Division 1 golden boot in 2008.

It’s a risk, to be sure. Put plainly: AIK teammate Celso Borges of the Costa Rican national team scored four times in 18 games last season. How big of a signing would he be considered if he came to MLS?

Only four teams scored fewer goals than the Fire last season, and they certainly need an injection in offense. But will Igboananike be an answer, or even part of the answer?