France probes PSG vs Red Star Bel­grade match-fix­ing claims

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Paris, France - French in­ves­ti­ga­tors are prob­ing sus­pi­cions of match-fix­ing in Paris Saint-Ger­main's 6-1 win against Red Star Bel­grade in the Cham­pi­ons League group stage on Oc­to­ber 3, a source said on Fri­day.

A se­nior of­fi­cial from the Ser­bian club is sus­pected to have bet large sums of money on Red Star los­ing by a five-goal mar­gin, said the source, who is close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The match was played at PSG's Parc des Princes sta­dium.

French sports news­pa­per L'Equipe said the Red Star of­fi­cial and ac­com­plices had bet US$5.8mn on the match with the aim of win­ning tens of mil­lions of dol­lars.

The orig­i­nal alert tipoff was re­ceived by Eu­ro­pean foot­ball's gov­ern­ing body, UEFA ,which passed on the in­for­ma­tion to na­tional au­thor­i­ties, an­other source said.

France's on­line bet­ting watch­dog Ar­jel said it had seen no ev­i­dence of ir­reg­u­lar ac­tiv­ity re­gard­ing the match ei­ther in France or in 22 other mainly Eu­ro­pean coun­tries, or by coun­tries cov­ered by the Global Lot­tery Mon­i­tor­ing Sys­tem.

Red Star said it was shell-shocked by the claims.

"Scan­dalised and dis­gusted, Red Star Bel­grade re­jects sus­pi­cions con­cern­ing the PSG-Red Star game and the im­pli­ca­tion of any­one from the club in any un­to­ward deal­ings," said a state­ment from the Ser­bian cham­pion.

PSG said it was "ex­tremely con­cerned" by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. In a state­ment, the French club said its con­tact with Red Star for the match had been com­pletely nor­mal.

"At no mo­ment was any mem­ber of the club ap­proached about any is­sue other than those strictly linked to the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the match, for ex­am­ple meet­ings, vis­its and the of­fi­cial lunch just as there is for ev­ery UEFA Cham­pi­ons League match," PSG said.

"PSG points to its at­tach­ment to a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of sport, that of the in­tegrity of com­pe­ti­tion and, con­se­quently, a re­fusal of any form of prac­tice that could call into ques­tion this in­tegrity."

UEFA said it did not com­ment on on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Red Star added that it was con­fi­dent the truth will quickly emerge.

"Red Star ex­pects the truth to be es­tab­lished as soon as pos­si­ble and to be cleared of any sus­pi­cion about a club of­fi­cial's con­nec­tion with these acts," added the state­ment of the 1991 Eu­ro­pean cham­pion.

In the game con­cerned, Brazil­ian star Ney­mar scored a hat-trick with PSG's other goals com­ing from Edin­son Ca­vani, An­gel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe. Marko Marin scored Red Star's only goal.

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