Rafa Benitez Surprised by Liverpool Match-Fixing Allegations

Adrian AgiusAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2013

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Rafael Benitez of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St James' Park on February 2, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has responded to questions regarding the current Europol match-fixing investigation. The questions come after Liverpool was unknowingly involved in a ploy by Hungarian side Debrecen in a UEFA Champions League group clash 

In a press conference (via Goal.com), the Spaniard expressed his shock at the allegations, as well as his support of the investigation, saying:

I'm surprised, though it was nothing to do with Liverpool.

We went out to win the game, and we did. I didn't remember [anything suspicious]. It was a game we had to win, and we approached it to do just that. 

The fact it was 1-0 means it was quite difficult. I think that it's fantastic that the investigation is taking place, analysing those 300-odd games. 

The actual event in question took place during the 2009 installment of Europe's premier competition. During the particular match, Liverpool came away victorious 1-0. But the actions of Hungarian goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic have drawn attention to the match.

Liverpool's only goal that match came from a dubious parry made by Poleksic following a Fernando Torres shot. Dirk Kuyt then followed up with the rebound.

Poleksic was reportedly investigated by UEFA for failing to report an approach to fix a match prior to Debrecen's clash with Fiorentina that same season. He was subsequently banned for two years.

With 380 matches being investigated, the Liverpool-Debrecen fixing will only prove to be the tip of the iceberg in an investigation that will hopefully rid football of much corruption and crime.

The former Liverpool manager reaffirmed his support of the investigation, saying, "If they find something then OK. If not, even better. But it's important to clarify things. I'm very happy with that."