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Dec 8, 2011

UEFA plays down Zagreb-Lyon fears

UEFA has announced that its Betting Fraud Detection System has not yet shown any irregular betting patterns to justify an investigation into Lyon's 7-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.

• Champions League round-up
• Dinamo Zagreb coach sacked

To finish second in Group D, Lyon needed to beat Dinamo Zagreb and for Ajax to lose to Real Madrid with a seven-goal swing in their favour. Lyon emerged 7-1 victors while Ajax were beaten 3-0.

French online gaming authority ARJEL said it would be "carrying out checks" on the match in Zagreb amid suggestions of foul play. Ajax also saw two goals controversially disallowed for offside at the Amsterdam Arena and coach Frank de Boer had said after his side's exit that he felt an investigation may be appropriate.

"If there was something unusual, UEFA should investigate what happened in Zagreb," De Boer said. "My assistants have told me that the goals came quick and easy, because you can't normally score these goals in half an hour.

"Destiny was in our own hands and we had chances to qualify because our game was very even. I will have to see video replays (of the disallowed goals)."

Lyon earlier released a statement saying they understood the checks by the regulatory authority for online games (ARJEL) were necessary in the case of such an "atypical" result.

The statement on their official website read: "Lyon have become aware of the checks being carried out this morning by ARJEL, which fit with the procedures of the agency responsible for the regulation of online gaming.

"The club agree totally that action should be taken when a result is considered atypical."

However, UEFA has now released a statement to calm the suggestions of foul play after reports appeared in various newspapers around the continent.

The statement read: "UEFA is aware of, and has taken note, of the press coverage surrounding yesterday's games and the various allegations made by the media.

"UEFA also considers the integrity of its own competitions, including the UEFA Champions League, as an absolute priority and pays extra attention to all games. We have also implemented a Betting Fraud Detections System (BFDS) as a tool against match-fixing - a system which monitors 29,000 games a season including all UEFA matches, and utilises data from more than 400 betting companies.

"For the time being this system has not shown any irregular betting patterns around yesterday's games or their outcome that would justify any inquiry on that front."

A photo has emerged of a Dinamo Zagreb player emerging from a bookmaker, reportedly on Tuesday, while some suggestions on social networks have been made of a wink being directed by Domagoj Vida towards Lyon striker Batefembi Gomis after a goal.

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