UEFA charges Macedonian club FK Pobeda over match-fixing allegations

Uefa has charged Macedonian club FK Pobeda over match-fixing allegations relating to a Champions League qualifying match in 2004. FK Podeba’s president and one player have also been charged after irregular betting patterns were reported.

The match was against Armenian side FC Pyunik and took place on 13 July 2004.

FK Pobeda have been charged with being “in breach of the principles of integrity and sportsmanship by manipulating the outcome of a match”.

The match in question is the first leg of the tie which FC Podeba lost 3-1 at home, before they went on to draw 1-1 in the second leg.

Uefa’s control and disciplinary body will deal with the case on 17 April.

Ten preliminary matches from the current Uefa Cup season and 15 from last season had also been under review for irregular betting patterns. Uefa will launch a gambling investigating unit next season, featuring experts who will review suspected irregularities in matches from European competitions.

“We are setting up this betting fraud detection system across Europe to include 27,000 matches in the first and second division in each national association,” said Uefa general secretary David Taylor. “Only a few matches cause us problems but we are determined to root out this problem.”

Uefa president Michel Platini added: “There is a grave danger in the world of football and that is match-fixing. The match-fixing is the greatest problem. If you know who is winning, there is no reason to play anymore. Buying players and referees is what worries me.”

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