Liverpool have stated that there has been “no contact” from Europol, the European Union’s criminal investigation arm, who have reportedly included the Reds’ 1-0 Champions League group stage win over Hungarian outfit Debrecen in an investigation into match-fixing.
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet claimed the 2009 fixture at Anfield is one of the matches under investigation, but stressed that no accusation has been leveled at Liverpool.
But a spokeperson for the Anfield club confirmed to Goal.com that neither Europol nor Uefa have yet made contact with them regarding the matter.
The report in Ekstra Bladet claimed Serbian goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was approached by fixers intending to rig the betting market for total goals in the fixture, though that ultimately failed as Debrecen only conceded one goal, courtesy of Dirk Kuyt’s winner.
Liverpool are understood to be uninvolved in the accusations and no one at the club is alleged to have acted improperly.
Poleksic was also involved in another match that German police had established was fixed – Debrecen’s 4-3 loss to Fiorentina in the same Champions League campaign. Poleksic was later banned for two years by Uefa for failing to report the approach from a Croatian-led criminal gang. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) later upheld the ban after Poleksic claimed innocence.
Europol are investigating 380 suspicious matches in 15 countries, though director Rob Wainwright refused to identify the match in question because of “ongoing judicial procedures”.
However the Ekstra Bladet report identifies the Liverpool versus Debrecen game and claims that text messages obtained by the police from those behind the match-fixing ring lamented missed opportunities from Steven Gerrard that would have made the margin of victory larger.