Top-ranked Australian tennis player, Nick Kyrgios, has been accused of deliberately throwing a FIFA 17 match on Thursday night. In a best-of-three series with regular PlayStation partner, Bernard Tomic, the 21-year old appeared to be visibly tanking in the deciding encounter and has been widely criticised for his display.
Kyrgios’ unsportsmanlike conduct began in the second half, when reduced to ten men and down by two goals. The world number 14 performed a number of reckless slide tackles and attempted to score from halfway, before trying to dribble past Tomic’s entire team with English goalkeeper, Joe Hart, on multiple occasions.
In his post-match comments, Kyrgios insisted he owed fans nothing. “They don't know what I'm going through” he said. “I feel like if they knew what they were talking about, they'd be playing FIFA 17 with Manchester City and being successful as well. I don't owe them anything. It's my choice. If you don't like it, I didn't ask you to come watch. Just leave.”
Despite countless nights practising his technique, many are now questioning the Australian’s commitment to the sport and his efforts have shocked the FIFA 17 community. Kyrgios was reportedly late for a date with professional tennis player and girlfriend, Alja Tomljanovic and his controversial play left onlookers telling him to “respect the game”.
This latest performance continues a worrying trend of the 21-year old giving well below his best and follows a second round meltdown at the Shanghai Masters, where he lost 6-3 6-1 to tennis world number 247, Mischa Zverev. After the match, Australia Davis Cup captain, Lleyton Hewitt, suggested he “doesn’t yet have the mental strength” to recover from a two goal deficit given six minute halves.
Kyrgios now faces a heavy fine and possible suspension by EA Sports if a code of conduct breach for “lack of best efforts” is upheld, although officials have refused to comment on the matter. The world number 14’s tanking also leaves him open to further punishment and ridicule from Tomic upon their next FIFA 17 meeting.
Having lost the series, Oddschecker is aware of a verbal agreement which gives his opponent the right to attempt the world famous Creepy Crawley Challenge, whereby Tomic has a rare opportunity to defeat Kyrgios’ Barcelona with one-and-a-half-star team, Crawley Town, a result which would seriously damage the 21-year old’s hugely inflated ego.
Kyrgios has since explained his “arm was a little sore” which clearly affected his grip on the controller, but apologised to fans on Twitter saying there were no excuses for his behaviour: