BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Reports linking Hungarian side Debrecen with match-fixing are merely raking over old ground, the club said in a statement on Tuesday.
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reported that Debrecen’s 2009 Champions League group match against Liverpool was among 680 suspicious games being investigated by European anti-crime agency Europol, who announced details of its probes on Monday.
A spokesman for Liverpool, who the newspaper report stressed are not under suspicion, said they had not heard from Europol or any other agency regarding the match at their Anfield home.
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 Vukasin Poleksic.
Debrecen, however, 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.
CAS annulled the suspension imposed on Debrecen’s Meszaros after deciding there was not enough evidence to suggest he had breached UEFA regulations. However, CAS maintained a two-year ban on Poleksic for failing to report the approach.
CAS said there was no evidence that matches had been manipulated.
(Writing by Toby Davis in London; Reporting by Zoltan Fazekas; Editing by Mark Meadows)
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