Feb 5 2013 By James Pearce
LIVERPOOL FC have been left baffled by claims that their Champions League clash with Debrecen in September 2009 was part of the match-fixing scandal uncovered by Europol.
Reports in Denmark suggest that the European Union's law enforcement agency discovered that Debrecen keeper Vukasin Poleksic had been bribed in an attempt to try to ensure there were more than two goals scored in the group game at Anfield.
However, Poleksic failed to deliver with the Reds only beating the Hungarians 1-0 courtesy of a strike from Dirk Kuyt after the shot-stopper had parried Fernando Torres' shot.
There is no suggestion that anyone connected with Liverpool acted improperly in any way and a club spokesman said they have had no contact from the investigators.
Europol revealed that a Champions League game played in England in the past three to five years is one of 680 matches across the world they believe was fixed by an organised crime syndicate based in Asia.
However, Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, declined to identify the match involved because of “ongoing judicial proceedings”.
Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet claims that a source close to Europol has confirmed that it was Liverpool against Debrecen.
They state that in text messages obtained by police those behind the match-fixing bemoaned the fact that Steven Gerrard had missed some chances to make the margin of victory against Debrecen greater.
Later in the group stage Poleksic was also allegedly bribed for a match against Fiorentina which Debrecen lost 4-3.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper was banned from all football for two years in 2010 after failing to report being approached by fixers.