The announcement today from Europol that a Champions League tie played in England over the last 3 to 4 years was fixed has had football fans wondering just which encounter it could possibly have been.
European police did not reveal which Champions League match it was due to “ongoing judicial proceedings.”
But, Rob Wainwright, director of Europol did admit that it took place in England in the “last three or four years.”
And Wainwright added: “It would be naive and complacent of those in the UK to think such a criminal conspiracy does not involve the English game and all the football in Europe.”
A poll of our Twitter users overwhelmingly suggested that the Chelsea v Barcelona semi-final second leg in 2009, refereed by Tom Henning Øvrebø was the most likely fixed Champions League match.
Some high scoring matches – e.g. Manchester United 7 – Roma 1 and Liverpool 8 – Besiktas 0 – both from 2007 – don’t make the cut for potential fixed games due the “last three or four years” rule.
(As an aside Lyon’s 7-1 win at Dinamo Zagreb was almost certainly fixed, as we said at the time, but this may not have been part of Europol’s investigation and was of course not in England.)
Which leaves four main candidates, listed below with the obvious example of Chelsea-Barcelona kicking off proceedings.
Have we missed any potential fixed Champions League games in England over the past 3/4 years?
Chelsea 1 – Barcelona 1, Champions League semi-final second leg, May 6, 2009
Liverpool 4 – Real Madrd, Champions League last 16 second leg, March 10, 2009
Tottenham 3 – Inter Milan 1, Champions League group match, November 2, 2010
Chelsea 4 – Napoli 1 AET, Champions League last 16 second leg, March 14, 2012