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Zenit Fury as UEFA Cup success is tainted

12 October 2008 by

Zenit St Petersburg have been left reeling in anger as the Spanish media accused them of match fixing.

Spanish newspapers El Pais and ABC have reported on a story involving a Russian crinimal gang paying out bribes to the clubs UEFA Cup opponents last year. The spanish papers have stated that they have evidence prooving the fact that Zenit payed large sums of money to their semi-final opponents Bayern Munich last year. Zenit have said that the allegations are completely untrue and that they are preparing to sue both El Pais and ABC. UEFA are planning to investigate the claims.

The allegations stem from a leading Spanish judge, who has said he heard a taped phonecall in which Russian criminal Gennadios Petrov claimed to have paid Zenit’s semi-final opponents Bayern Munich vast sums of money.

Zenit manger Dick Advocaat was one of the first to hit out at the claims; “Everyone knows the simple truth – we had a better team than Rangers,” he told the Russian media, “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.”

Bayern Munich also strongly deny the claims saying they knew; “nothing about the suspicions.” Bayern were thrased 5-1 on aggregate and many pundits at the time expressed their surprise at Bayerns poor performance.

UEFA are looking into the incident whilst Zenit have proceeded to begin legal action against El Pais and ABC.

More news as soon as the situation develops.

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