Goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic has protested his innocence after Debrecen confirmed their UEFA Champions League game against Liverpool in 2009 was part of a match-fixing investigation.
Europol announced on Monday that a Champions League game in England was one of 380 games under suspicion, and Debrecen later announced UEFA had taken action against goalkeeper Poleksic in 2010 for not reporting approaches from fixers before two European matches – against Liverpool and Fiorentina.
Poleksic is sorry that he did not go to the authorities but insists he did not try to fix any match and says his performance at Anfield proves he is not guilty.
“Anyone who watched the match would know that what people are saying is bull,” Poleksic told the Daily Mail.
“We lost 1-0 at Liverpool and I played a good game. I made lots of saves: a one-on-one against Albert Riera, one from Fernando Torres, one from Steven Gerrard. I remember it all. How can anyone say I threw the game?
“The match did not seem at all odd that night. There was nothing. I was just delighted to be playing at Anfield. It was a great night for me and my club and we played well.”
Poleksic’s failure to pass on information to police after being approached by fixers landed him a two-year ban, and he regrets staying quiet after being offered a bribe prior to Debrecen’s 4-3 loss to Fiorentina.
“They called me a week or 10 days before the game and it made it difficult for me to play,” he explained.
“I was so scared of making a mistake in case I was accused of something. I don’t know who the people were who called me. I told them, “I don’t do this, I’d never do this, please don’t call me’.
“I don’ t know where they were from but I made the mistake of not saying anything. I wasn’t sure it was so serious and I had no information about the people so I didn’t say anything.
“Every goalkeeper in the world makes mistakes but my big one was that I didn’t call the police.”
Biggest of career
Poleksic says the match with Liverpool was one of the most special occasions he has been involved in, and is devastated to have found himself at the centre of such a scandal.
“It was the biggest match of my career,” he said. “Liverpool have always been my favourite club. I love them and can’t believe what people have said about me. But I know I am clean.
“At the end of the game, I swapped shirts with Pepe Reina, as I did in the return game. I still have Reina’s shirt on my wall at home. I’m such a big fan of his.”
Poleksic added: “I just worry that people will believe what is being said.”