by Chipp Reid

There’s a saying in football that a post is a goalkeeper’s best friend.
It looks like IFK Göteborg keeper Kim Christensen wanted to be a little closer to his friends.
Video cameras caught the Danish international adjusting the goal posts ever so slightly Sept. 24 as Göteborg prepared to take on Örebro in Round 25 of the Allsvenskan. Christensen moved the bottom of each post in about three inches, not an incredible margin but enough to possibly make a difference.
“Some venues don’t have the posts stuck in the ground and when that happens you try to move the poles so many centimeters you can,” Christensen said. “I got the tip from a goalkeeper friend a few years ago, and since then I've done that sometimes.”
Official rules mandate a distance of 24 feet between the posts. Many stadiums don’t permanently anchor the nets, instead using removable goals. Stadium grounds crews mark the spots on which the post should sit with white paint. Christensen ran into problems when referee Stefan Johannesson saw someone had moved the posts about 20 minutes into the game and pushed them back into their original place. However, he was unsure who moved them and did not take any action against Christensen.
After his admission, Christensen faced possible sanctions from the Svenska Fotbollsförbundet – the Swedish FA. However, the Disciplinary Committee declined to penalize the goalkeeper.
Other goalkeepers around the league didn’t quite rally to the Dane’s defense, but many said they knew about the “trick,” including Örebro and Swedish national team net minder John Alvbåge.
“It’s an old trick,” Alvbåge said. “A lot of guys do it—they kick in the posts a little bit. Pål Lundin started it a few years ago.”
Lundin is now the goalkeeper coach at Trelleborgs FF.
IFK Göteborg went into its match with Örebro in desperate need of a victory. Göteborg lost 2-1 in Round 24 to Kalmar while league-leaders AIK beat cross-town rival Djurgården 2-0 in a Stockholm derby. The results gave AIK a three-point lead over Göteborg, which sat in second place going into Round 26 Oct. 4-5.
AIK leads the Allsvenskan with 50 points with four matches remaining in the season. AIK plays IFK Göteborg Nov. 1 at Nya Ullevi Stadium in Göteborg on the final day of the season. Göteborg needs some help, however, for that match to have any meaning.
IFK is in second place with 47 points and would need AIK to draw at least two matches – while IFK Göteborg must win its three leading up to the showdown game.
Third-place Elfsborg, with 46 points, also would need AIK to hit even more snags for it to grab the title. Defending champions Kalmar, in fourth place on 45 points, need more help from the league than Elfsborg.
At the other end of the table, Stockholm clubs Djurgården and Hammarby hold the relegation places. If both teams go down to the Superettan, it would mark the first time two of the league’s premiere sides suffered relegation in the same season. It’s enough to make even AIK players send well-wishes across town.
“It would really be too bad if they went down,” said AIK midfielder Kenny Pavey. “Sure, we’re rivals, but the derby games are really great and important to the fans. It would be a shame if we didn’t have any next year.”
Mjällby and Åtvidaberg hold the promotion spots in the Superettan – neither is a Stockholm club. GIF Sundsvall sits in the Superettan playoff spot and, if the season ended now, would face Örgryte for the right to play in the Allsvenskan.