Pitchside

Relegation-threatened Colon repay debt, win four in row

Pitchside

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Argentina's Colon could hardly have dreamt a month ago that they would be top of the league championship when their focus was entirely on avoiding relegation.

Colon, from the city of Santa Fe, went top on 12 points from five matches with a 1-0 win at Rosario Central, their fourth in a row, on Saturday.

They will still be there by the end of play on Sunday even if title holders San Lorenzo and Estudiantes, who have nine points each, win their matches. The Saints visit River Plate and Juan Sebastian Veron's side host Newell's Old Boys.

Colon faced a gloomy future when the Final championship, second of two in the season, kicked off last month and they opened with a 3-0 defeat at Racing Club, their 15th league match without a win.

They had finished bottom of the Inicial in December having been docked six points for a $800,000 debt they had with Atlante of Mexico for the 2007 transfer of Argentine midfielder Juan Carlos Falcon.

This put them deep in trouble, in the bottom three of the relegation standings that are determined by teams' average points over three seasons.

Colon had been poorly run for several seasons before president German Lerche was forced to resign under pressure from club members.

They posted on their website (www.cacolon.com.ar) a list of board members including Lerche who have been "suspended, declared persona non grata and denied entry (to the club)".

Eduardo Vega took over as president and last week Colon paid off the debt and are now hoping to reclaim the six points they were docked by appealing to world body FIFA.

"The repeated failure to pay said debt by the outgoing board had produced innumerable problems. The most serious was the docking of six points by FIFA," Colon said.

"The (new) board will start forthwith with the very complicated task of recovering those valuable points."

Colon are now three places above the bottom three in the relegation table who go down at the end of the season in May.

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