Needing a win over Porto tomorrow to advance in the Champions League’s Group G, CSKA Moscow clinched Russia’s league title with a 4-0 victory over Luch-Energiya Vladivostok on Saturday. The accomplishment wasn’t tarnished in the slightest by continued allegations of match fixing that have plagued CSKA for the past month. From Reuters (link courtesy The Offside).
Many Russian bookmakers refused to take bets on certain matches, saying their outcome was pre-determined, while CSKA’s main rivals, Spartak Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg, accused the army side of benefiting from favourable refereeing decisions.Match-fixing allegations reached new heights near the end of the season following CSKA’s controversial 1-0 win over Zenit on Nov. 5, which virtually sealed first place for the Moscow club.
The Russian FA later acknowledged that the referee had made crucial errors in disallowing two Zenit goals while wrongly awarding CSKA a penalty which they scored.
The match was also marred by a number of altercations, notably a scuffle between CSKA’s Brazilian striker Vagner Love (above) and Zenit’s Dutch midfielder Fernando Ricksen.
After initially suspending Love for punching Ricksen, the league’s disciplinary committee reversed its decision and allowed the Brazilian to go unpunished. Love then scored a hat-trick against Vladivostok to clinch first place for CSKA.