GENEVA (AP) — A goalkeeper linked to attempts to fix a Champions League match against Liverpool was questioned by UEFA about the case in 2010, his club said Tuesday.
Hungarian club Debrecen had said in 2010 that Vukasin Poleksic was questioned about being approached by match fixers before "two international matches." On Tuesday, following a report in a Danish newspaper, Debrecen identified those games from its 2009-10 Champions League campaign.
"The two matches were the away match against Liverpool and at home against Fiorentina," the club said in a statement. UEFA subsequently took action over the Fiorentina game, banning Poleksic for two years for "breaching principles of integrity, loyalty and sportsmanship" by failing to report a corruption plot.
UEFA declined to detail how its inquiry into the Liverpool allegations proceeded when asked by The Associated Press on Tuesday. UEFA said it would not comment before receiving information from European police agency Europol, which announced Monday that it knew of hundreds of suspicious matches — which it didn't identify.
The report in Danish daily Ekstra Bladet late Monday followed widespread speculation following the Europol briefing. England's FA and Liverpool have said they knew nothing of suspicions surrounding the September 2009 game. Liverpool beat Debrecen 1-0 with a goal from Dirk Kuyt, who pounced after Poleksic parried a shot from Fernando Torres.
Poleksic, a Montenegro international, completed his two-year ban last June and resumed his career with Debrecen. Debrecen stood by its player throughout the case, which UEFA first judged in June 2010 before Poleksic made an unsuccessful appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"In course of the proceedings by the (UEFA) Disciplinary Committee, it was established that no bribery, betting fraud or the influencing of the match took place regarding any (Debrecen) matches," the club said then.
Associated Press writer Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary, contributed to this report