The first major club to be embroiled in the monster match-fixing scandal to rock world football has come to surface. It has been revealed, by a number of sources including the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Mirror that English Premier League side Liverpool's 2009 Champions League match against Debrecen is indeed under the microscope.
I must stress that at this point all actions are alleged to have had occurred, although the actions brought into question have been following a thorough investigation. The match in question during the group stages of the 2009 installment of Europe's premier competition. Liverpool came away victorious from the match 1-0 in the end.
The Daily Mail reports:
Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was allegedly paid to ensure there were more than two goals in the match — something he failed to engineer. Liverpool won the game 1-0 and had seven shots on target — including one from Fernando Torres that Poleksic palmed into the path of Dirk Kuyt for the winner.
What is also interesting to note was that German police have already established Debrecen's 4-3 loss to Fiorentina in that same year (in the Champions League) had been subject to attempted match-fixing by Croatian gangs.
From what is known at the moment, Liverpool was actually "dragged" into the match-fixing as it is believed that Debrecen was the only side at the time targeted by the far eastern betting ring. In short, Liverpool's only involvement was the fact that they turned up to the match.
Liverpool released a statement in response to the allegations via a spokesmen (published on the Telegraph).“Liverpool Football Club has not been contacted by anyone from Europol or Uefa in relation to this matter.”
With 380 suspected incidents of match-fixing being investigated, Liverpool may not be the only club to be dragged into what is set to be the biggest controversy in the history of the world game.