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Feb 5, 2013

Liverpool: 'No contact' from Europol

Liverpool on Tuesday said the club has not been contacted by Europol concerning the European Union police agency's match-fixing investigation.

Newspaper reports Monday in Europe linked Liverpool's 1-0 home win over Debrecen in the Champions League group stage in 2009 to one of the 680 games under suspicion, charges the club denied on Tuesday.

"We have had no contact from Europol or any other organization over this," A Liverpool spokesman told the Press Association.

Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet reported Monday that sources within Europol had confirmed to them that Debrecen were under investigation for their 1-0 loss at Anfield in a group stage match. In England, The Daily Telegraph newspaper claimed German police have already established that match was subject to match-fixing from a Croatian-led crime syndicate.

Organized crime gangs have fixed or tried to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world in recent years, including World Cup qualifiers, European Championship qualifiers and and two UEFA Champions League games, Europol said Monday.

The European Union's police agency said an 18-month review found 380 suspicious matches in Europe and another 300 questionable games outside the continent, mainly in Africa, Asia and South and Central America. It also found evidence that a Singapore-based crime syndicate was involved in some of the match-fixing.

Europol refused to name any suspected matches, players, officials or match-fixers, saying that would compromise ongoing national investigations, so it remained unclear how much of the information divulged Monday was new or had already been revealed in trials across the continent.

Europol's probe uncovered 8 million euros ($10.9 million) in betting profits and 2 million euros ($2.7 million) in bribes to players and officials and has already led to several prosecutions.

Europol said 425 match officials, club officials, players and criminals from at least 15 countries were involved in fixing European soccer games dating back to 2008, and 50 people have already been arrested.

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.

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