Swedish hockey team cleared of match-fixing suspicion after investigation

A man poses with a Swedish flag before the preliminary round of the men's hockey game between Sweden and Finland at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Swedish hockey club Björklöven has been cleared of match-fixing allegations following an investigation by The Swedish Ice Hockey Association.

Suspicion arose on Monday, when the second-tier Swedish Allsvenskan team surrendered eight straight goals after building a 3-0 lead over Mora. Of most concern was not anything that happened on the ice but what happened on the betting market as that game flipped.

Björklöven entered the night as -130 favourites but only saw that extend to -150 while leading 3-1 after 10 minutes. The odds were seemingly holding because of money coming in on Mora.

The gambling action was so unusual that some betting houses took the game right off the board. Mora mounted a big rally and scored six times on the power play en route to an 8-4 victory.

Despite the bizarre turn of events, allegations of match-fixing were ultimately proved to be unfounded.

“The investigation shows that deviations in betting odds movements occurred from manual error at a betting company,” said Swedish Ice Hockey Association Head of Security Abbe Torsleff. “As a result, there is no suspicion whatsoever that Björklöven or any individual within Björklöven participated in match-fixing.

“We are grateful for the cooperation we received from all parties in recent days. I am glad that together we have come to these conclusions and the facts means we can free Björklöven from all suspicion of irregularities.”

With files from Chris Johnston

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