Zenit St Petersburg have denied any involvement in an alleged attempt by Russian mafia figures to fix last season’s UEFA Cup semi-final between the Russian club and Bayern Munich.
According to reports in Spain, a Spanish investigating judge had sent recordings allegedly detailing a match-fixing plot to German authorities.
Russian champions Zenit crushed Bayern 4-0 at home in the second leg of their tie to win 5-1 on aggregate before going on to beat Glasgow Rangers in the final of the competition.
“There is nothing to comment on because, even if there is some investigation, Zenit has nothing to do with this,” Alexei Petrov, a spokesman for the St Petersburg club, told Reuters.
“We have nothing to do with whoever it is that is alleged to be behind this, whether it is so-called Russian mafia or whoever,” Petrov added.
In a statement issued on the club’s website (www.fc-zenit.ru) on Wednesday, Zenit said its performance in the matches against Bayern and Rangers “is the best proof the victories were achieved in an honest, uncompromising contest”.
UEFA said it was aware of the reports about a match-fixing investigation. Bayern said on Wednesday they had no information about the reports.
Dutch manager Advocaat, who has led the club to a domestic league title and the UEFA Super Cup as well as that victory in Manchester, was angered by the allegations. ]
“This is incredible,” he told the Daily Record. “All I can say is let them play the tapes so we can hear what has been said. Then everyone will know what a big lie it is.
“Everyone knows the simple truth – we had a better team than Rangers. That’s why we won the UEFA Cup.
“Rangers played very well, but we were the better side. There was no mystery. I don’t know why anybody would say something like this.
“There is a lot of jealousy about what we have achieved with Zenit in such a short space of time. People don’t like the fact that we have been so successful so quickly.
“But that has nothing to do with bribes or dirty money. It has everything to do with the quality of the players and coaching staff. That’s why we have achieved so much.”