Liverpool in the dark over Champions League fixing claims
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A Danish newspaper has claimed that the Liverpool vs Debrecen Champions League group stage game in 2009 is one of the 680 games that Europol suggests could have been fixed. The Anfield club have said they have not been contacted by the European Union police agency's match-fixing investigation and are believed to be in the clear, according to reports.
"We've not had any contact from Europol and no other agency has been in touch with Liverpool," said a Reds spokesman. In the match under question, former Liverpool player Dirk Kuyt scored the winner in which Vukasin Poleksic, goal keeper for Debrecen, spilt a strike on to the path of the Dutchman. The Danish report said matchfixers intended to rig the betting market for total goals in the European club clash, which Liverpool won 1-0, and targeted Debrecen's Montenegrin goalkeeper.
The Hungarian side have however, claimed that the match-fixing claims are merely raking over old ground. Debrecen said these allegations have already been dealt with by European soccer's governing body UEFA and Poleksic was given a two-year ban in 2010 for failing to report approaches from alleged fixers ahead of matches against Liverpool and Serie A side Fiorentina in Hungary.
Debrecen said that neither the club nor the player would react to the latest reports and chose instead to republish a statement they issued in 2010. "In the view of the UEFA Disciplinary Committee, Vukasin Poleksic failed to comply with his duties when he did not report to Debrecen that before two Champions League matches unknown people tried to persuade him to influence the result," the statement read.
"The investigation revealed that Poleksic rejected the requests. Furthermore, the probe found that the matches were not influenced by anything connected with the bribery.
"But the player committed an error by failing to inform the authorities immediately, therefore he was punished for not meeting the reporting requirement." The case came before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2011 when Poleksic's team mate Norbert Meszaros, who played against both Liverpool and Fiorentina, had his own 18-month ban for the same offence overturned.
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