Sun, Oct 14, 2018 - Page 11 News List

France probes PSG-Red Star fixing claims

AFP, PARIS

French investigators are probing suspicions of match fixing in Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) 6-1 win against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League group stage on Oct. 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 that the Red Star official and accomplices had bet 5 million euros (US$5.79 million) on the match with the aim of winning tens of millions of euros.

The original alert tip-off was received by 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 they were shell-shocked by the claims.

“Scandalized 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 champions.

PSG said they were “extremely concerned” by the investigation.

In a statement, the French club said their 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 organization of the match,” PSG said.

The accusations “are likely to bring great damage to the reputation of our club,” Red Star said. “That’s why Red Star insists that the competent bodies in Serbia, within UEFA and in France investigate until the end.”

The Serbian Football Federation as of Friday night had not yet reacted to the allegations.

Meanwhile, Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis on Friday was told that he would face trial accused of corruption in Greek soccer, the Athens Court of Appeals said.

Marinakis, former Hellenic Football Federation president Giorgos Sarris and an ex-legal adviser have been accused of forming a criminal organization and manipulating results of matches.

In all, 28 people are facing charges in the Greek case.

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