Liverpool Match Implicated In Europol Probe
05 February 2013
Liverpool have been implicated in one of the Champions League matches under suspicion of match fixing by Europol.
The Reds have not been accused of facilitating match-fixing.
Rather, their Hungarian opponents during the 2009 Champions League group stage, Debrecen, are under suspicion.
In a Herschelle Gibbs style match-fixing failure, Debrecen’s then goalkeeper, Vukasin Poleksic, was apparently approached by criminals to let in at least three goals against Liverpool at Anfield. The idea was to trigger an 'over 2.5 goals' bet. But as it happened, only a single goal by former Liverpool striker, Dirk Kuyt, separated the teams.
Pokesic has already previously been banned by Uefa for failing to report attempted match-fixing, when Debrecen lost 4-3 to Fiorentina during the same group stage as the Liverpool game.
Liverpool have made sure to confirm that they are under no suspicion themselves.
"Liverpool Football Club has not been contacted by anyone from Europol or Uefa in relation to this matter," a club statement revealed to The Telegraph.
Meanwhile, a Fifa official has claimed that currently, weak punishments do not deter criminals and football insiders from betting illegally on the outcome of matches.
"Match-fixing and match-manipulation is a global problem and is not going to go away tomorrow," Fifa's head of security and a former Interpol official, Ralf Mutschkethe told the Guardian.
While "a member of the football family" can be banned for life by Fifa, Mutschkethe added, "for people outside of football, the custodial sentences are too weak, and offer little to deter someone from getting involved in match-fixing".