Liverpool-Debrecen 2009 game under probe in match-fixing scandal

Hungarian football side Debrecen said Wednesday that they have had no contact from Europol in connection with match-fixing allegations surrounding a Champions League match in 2009.

European enforcement agency Europol said Monday that a match-fixing probe involving 380 games included one Champions League game in England, with reports in Denmark and elsewhere saying the match was Liverpool's 1-0 win over Debrecen at Anfield in 2009.

The Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was banned by UEFA for two years for failing to report approaches from fixers in 2009 but the charge at the time only specified a tie against Fiorentina.

Debrecen confirmed via a statement Tuesday that Poleksic was also approached before the Liverpool game.

A club source told AFP on Wednesday, however, that the club considered the case closed as Poleksic refused the bribes, was cleared by UEFA of matchfixing and had served his ban.

"No one from Europol or any other organisation has contacted the club in connection with the match-fixing investigation," the source said.

The statement titled "A bone already chewed" released on Debrecen's website Tuesday said: "all information relating to the matter was given in summer 2010".

"Several news outlets have run the story by the Danish Ekstra Bladet newspaper that on September 16, 2009, before the Liverpool-Debrecen Champions League group match, attempts were made to bribe our goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic," the statement read.

"The (UEFA) disciplinary committee's position was that Vukasin Poleksic neglected his obligations when he didn't report in time that, before two international matches of DVSC, unknown persons attempted to persuade him to influence the outcome of the matches," it continued.

"These matches were the away game against Liverpool and the home game against Fiorentina," it added.

A Liverpool spokesman said Tuesday: "We have had no contact from Europol or any other organisation over this."

Meanwhile, the European Clubs Association (ECA), meeting in Qatar, admitted that the number of games under investigation was "significant", but it was crucial to keep the problem in perspective.

"Keep in mind that in that period over 200,000 games were probably played in Europe, and this is not a sign of cancer hitting European football," said director AC Milan director Umberto Gandini, who is one of the ECA vice-presidents.
 

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