Carteron addresses match-fixing claims

CAF Champions League

Patrice Carteron has addressed allegations of match-fixing against Zamalek's CAF Champions League Group D rivals Esperance de Tunis and MC Alger.

Last season's beaten finalists suffered an early exit from the Champions League on Saturday after finishing third in their group behind Esperance and Alger, who played to a 1-1 draw in the day's other fixture.

Zamalek secured a 4-1 win over Teungueth and looked in contention to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition after Esperance, who had already qualified, took a first-half lead against their Algerian opponents.

However, the Tunisians' performance dropped off sharply in the second half and, after a substituting star player Anice Badri, the club conceded the goal that ultimately secured MC Alger's spot in the quarter-finals.

The nature of proceedings raised question marks about the outcome of the match, with local reports suggesting that an investigation could be opened into potential match-fixing, but Zamalek boss Carteron would not be drawn into such accusations.

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“We played two good games and scored six goals in three games. This is a good thing, but it was not enough for us," the Frenchman said, per KingFut. "Zamalek, on the current level, don’t deserve to exit the Champions League.

"I feel upset about crashing out of the tournament but we scored two points in the first three games, and this was not acceptable.

"We will now play in the Egyptian Premier League and the Egypt Cup. We will fight to lift them both. For me, winning the league is more difficult than winning the Champions League.

"We performed well in the first half, and this is the normal level of Zamalek. We did not concern ourselves with the other match. I don’t think Esperance and MC Alger have agreed to exclude us. They are two big teams.

"If I was in Esperance’s place, I would not have liked a big team like Zamalek to qualify, because facing MC Alger in the future is better for them than facing Zamalek.

I am very angry at the team’s performance in the first three opening games because that was the real reason for us to exit the Champions League..."

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