Albania federation denounces bribe in match-fixing attempt

The Albanian football federation has condemned an apparent match-fixing attempt in a recent game between two clubs.

A show on private television Top Channel, Fiks Fare, broadcast a phone call of a person trying to bribe a Patizani player before the team played Kukesi last week. Both clubs were at the top of the league with equal points. The match in Tirana ended 1-1.

A federation statement on Friday "strongly denounced" the bribe and called on the Partizani club to go the authorities. It also said the person offering the bribe had no links with any club, the association or Albanian football.

"The football federation is set in its fight to protect the purity of the game from persons or group of persons," the federation said in the statement. "Together we may contribute to totally eliminate such phenomena, very harmful for the game and the integrity of the game."

Partizani hailed the federation's reaction and said it would go to the authorities. It also called on the federation "to act through its commissions, to show its will in a case which serves all of us and not to step aside and make distancing statements."

In their reaction on Facebook, the club did not mention whether it had taken any step against the player, or if he had cooperated.

Kukesi also denounced the act and said that the person offering the bribe had no direct links to the club.

The club said it considered such match-fixing attempts "unacceptable," adding that "they encourage the proper authorities to do their job and we shall be at their disposal to clarify such a case."

"We were attacked due to our history but we are proud that in our successful history Kukesi has never been spoiled in such cases which are a shame for Albanian soccer," the club said in a statement.

Another Albanian club, Skenderbeu, has been banned by UEFA for a year for fixing matches.