Football team suspended for ‘bribing opponents’ with half-time wine delivery

A French soccer team has once been suspended for bribing opponents with a half-time wine delivery during a match.

In 2014, Nimes Olympique reportedly reached a deal with Caen which would benefit both clubs in their penultimate game of the season.

Nimes were struggling near the bottom of the Ligue 2 table, while Caen were on the verge of securing promotion to Ligue 1.

According to L’Equipe, Nimes approached Caen over a deal to play a mutually beneficial 1-1 draw 48 hours before the match before sealing the deal at half-time.

Nîmes Olympique used crates of wine to bribe Caen to draw 1-1 with them

During the intermission, Nîmes delivered several cases of wine to the dressing room in Caen as payment for their involvement in the trick.

Their match was originally scheduled for earlier in the season before being postponed, allowing it to be played between the final two matchdays of the season.

As a result, both teams knew what result they needed to secure promotion and avoid relegation, respectively.

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Nimes Caen
The match between Caen and Nîmes Olympique in May 2014 ended 1-1

The match ended 1–1 as expected, with Caen promoted to third place and Nimes’ survival assured as they eventually finished the season in 15th place.

After the revelation of the scandal, the president of Nîmes, Jean-Marc Conrad, was placed in police custody and resigned from his functions.

Following an investigation into the incident, Conrad received a seven-year ban from football-related activities, after attempting to fix a total of four matches during the 2013/14 season.

Nimes’ main shareholder, Serge Kasparian, was sentenced to 10 years’ suspension, while four other suspects received bans ranging from two months to two years.

Jean-Marc Conrad
Nîmes Olympique president Jean-Marc Conrad banned from football for seven years

As for Nîmes, it was initially announced that they would be relegated to the National Championship at the end of the 2014/15 season.

However, this decision was later overturned and the club was allowed to remain in Ligue 2 after finishing 13th.

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