PRLog (Press Release) - Feb. 5, 2013 - The announcement received in the football world that investigators Europol had identified 380 games worldwide as having been targeted by betting gangs in the Far East was hardly going to raise an eyebrow from members of the footballing fraternity whether it is people who make their careers in football or the supporters of clubs.
That was until you started going into the nitty gritty of the report and you found mention that games in the European Champions League were under investigation, that’s a bit worrying you think as British teams play in that and we never seem to get involved in these things. The next thing you see is Sky television and other media outlets reporting that one of the matches under investigation was from 2009 and was when Liverpool Football Club played Hungarian side Debrecen.
It appears that the Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic was suspected of accepting money to lose the game by more than two goals. In the end eventually Liverpool Football Club won 1-0 which implies that the goalie didn’t do a great job in this instance.
However Mr Poleksic has since been banned from all footballing activities for match fixing issues. So there is certainly a shadow over him.
Other games under investigation include European Championship Qualifiers, which if true is very sad for all the teams that played there as nobody wants these clouds hanging over football. UEFA has just enjoyed a fantastic summer of football in 2012 at the Poland and Ukraine jointly held tournament so we should all hope that these investigations are swiftly concluded.
Thankfully there are no suspicions on the Reds of Liverpool or on any British club at this time. However we would be very wrong to be smug and complacent about this as we have seen with cricket this scourge can spread its tentacles wide.
To hear that Europol are investigating at least 150 matches in Europe including 70 in Germany, Finland 32 and Belgium 19 this is something that is not far from our door and the footballing authorities need to be extremely vigilant in this matter.
A big problem seems to be that the penalties faced by people outside of football are not a deterrent in themselves and need to be much stronger to steer people away from this.
We here at thefootballzone.co.uk hope that should any body involved in our glorious game are found to have been involved in match fixing they should face the stiffest penalties available.