Monday, February 04, 2013
DANISH PAPER CLAIMS UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH INVOLVING LIVERPOOL IN 2009 WAS FIXED
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet has claimed the UEFA Champions League game between Liverpool and Debrecen in 2009 was fixed.
Their report places no suspicion on Liverpool whatsoever and instead claims Debrecen's Montenegrin goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was ‘bribed to ensure the match ended with at least three goals’.
The clash was the first match of the group stage and took place at Anfield on September 16, with Liverpool beating their Hungarian opponents 1-0.
In text messages obtained by police the people behind the alleged match-fixing were angry that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard had not capitalised on some easy chances.
Later in the group stage Poleksic was allegedly bribed for a match against Fiorentina, which Debrecen lost 4-3.
The goalkeeper was banned for two years in June 2010 for failing to report being approached by fixers before the Fiorentina game.
Poleksic's case was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who in May 2011 turned down his appeal, although conceded they could not prove the match result had been manipulated.
On Monday morning it was revealed European police agency Europol are investigating more than 380 suspicious matches in 15 countries, including a Champions League game played in England in the last three or four years.
Rob Wainwright, director of Europol - the European Union's law enforcement agency, told a news conference that the match which took place 'in the last three to four years' was one of 380 under investigation.
Europol said a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix matches.
When the news of the investigation broke on Monday, a spokesman for The Football Association said: 'The FA are not aware of any credible reports into suspicious Champions League fixtures in England, nor has any information been shared with us.
'While the Champions League comes under UEFA jurisdiction, The FA, alongside the Premier League, Football League and Conference, monitor markets for the top seven leagues and three major cup competitions in England and take matters of integrity in football extremely seriously.'
It is understood UEFA were similarly unaware of an investigation into an Champions League match in England.
A Europol spokesman said he was unable to comment when asked why neither the FA nor UEFA had been informed.