Match fixing spotlight falls on Liverpool v Debrecen tie
European police, currently in the midst of an investigation into match-fixing in football, have found 680 matches that have been suspect to unscrupulous dealings and one of them, shockingly, was played in England.
February 5th, 2013
Details of the match in question were not revealed by investigators, who would say nothing more than a “Champions League tie in England took place in the ‘last three or four years’” but a report by Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet has pointed the finger at a tie between Liverpool and Debrecen in 2009.
There is no suggestion that Liverpool have played any part in the scandal, with the suspicion falling on Debrecen keeper Vukasin Poleksic who was allegedly bribed into letting in three goals at Anfield – a match that Liverpool won 1-0.
Liverpool confirmed last night that they had not been contacted by Europol or UEFA in relation to the match fixing scandal.
German police have already established that another of Debrecen’s matches during that Champions League campaign – the 4-3 defeat to Italian side Fiorentina – was subject to attempted match-fixing by a Croatian-led criminal gang.
Poleksic was later banned for two years by UEFA for failing to report an approach from match-fixers in relation to that Fiorentina match.
He claimed to be innocent and took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where the ban was upheld.
“It has been proven to its comfortable satisfaction that there had been contacts between the player and the members of a criminal group involved in match-fixing and betting fraud,” the CAS panel ruled.
It is believed that evidence relating to the Liverpool vs Debrecen game came to light when police in Bochum, Germany were investigating the Croatian match-fixer Ante Sapina, who was sentenced to five years in prison in 2011 for masterminding the fixing of at least 20 matches across Europe.