SPORTS BRIEFS

Senec stripped of SuperLiga status, blames corruption
Pálffy signs with Kings

Senec stripped of SuperLiga status, blames corruption

The Slovak Football Union nullified a match won by VTJ Koba Senec in the first round of the recently concluded Second Division Football league because one of Senec's players, Miloš Lipovský, had received a fourth yellow card disqualifying him from play while suiting up for Lokomotiva Košice in the last round of the 97/98 first division. The decision, which took three points away from the Senec club's final points total, resulted in a standings re-shuffling whereby SKP Devin moved up a spot and replaced Senec as the last qualifier for the SuperLiga.
Senec officials launched an immediate protest at a Bratislava press conference on June 17 by appealing the decision and suggesting that the move was a result of corruption within the league.
"It's interesting that this matter has come to light ten months after [the match]," said club president Daniel Bartko.
Senec general manager Štefan Mrva expressed his suspicions that the ruling commission had been influenced by Milan Lončik, a member of SKP Devíin and a director at Poštová Banka - the chairman of the Slovak Soccer Union commission also works for Poštová Banka.
"We have a feeling that there is a [conflict] of interests," Mrva said, who also pointed out that it was not his club's responsibility to check the legality of a player but, rather, the commission's. "The biggest part of the guilt is on the shoulders of the directing authorities which did not register the invalid play even at the end of [1997] fall season."
Bartko, meanwhile, reported that fans and players alike were bitter and angry. The morning after the decision over 300 fans gathered at club headquarters promising to initiate a hunger strike while the players "cried like small children." He added that if the ruling stood, he would end his association with the league. "In this condition, it is not possible to work in Slovak football," he said.


Pálffy signs with Kings

Žigmund Pálffy, a former New York Islander, signed a four-year contract to play with the Los Angeles Kings for a reported six million dollars per year.

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