Thursday, December 8, 2011
No unusual betting in Lyon's win
PARIS -- An investigation into Lyon's unlikely 7-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb failed to turn up any unusual betting patterns, and UEFA said Thursday it found nothing suspicious about the outcome.
ARJEL, France's online gambling regulator, routinely looks into "atypical" scores, but said it found nothing out of the ordinary -- either in the total amount gambled online with French operators, the number of bets, their spread, or how odds evolved during the game.
The lopsided result helped Lyon advance to the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday. That, combined with the apparent ease with which it scored some of its goals, sparked talk that the match may have been fixed.
UEFA's gambling fraud detection system, which taps into information from more than 400 betting companies and monitors 29,000 games per season, is designed to spot telltale suspicious gambling patterns that could point to match-fixing.
"For the time being this system has not shown any irregular betting patterns around (Wednesday's) games or their outcome that would justify any inquiry on that front," UEFA said.
"UEFA also pays a lot of attention to the sporting behavior on the pitch and we are currently waiting to receive the reports of the referee, referee observer and match delegate to see if, in their opinion, something suspicious might have happened. If there is anything in these reports that could raise a doubt, UEFA may then charge a disciplinary inspector to investigate the matter. But there is nothing at this stage that would justify doing so."
For some, suspicions were aroused by an apparent wink that Dinamo defender Domagoj Vida appeared to direct at Bafetimbi Gomis as he helped the Lyon forward pluck the ball out of the net after Lisandro scored the French team's fifth goal.
"I have no doubts whatsoever about the integrity of the match or the competition," UEFA president Michel Platini said after an executive committee meeting in Venice, Italy. "I believe in this competition and I believe in the integrity of the players in this competition."
In Croatia, Dinamo issued a statement describing speculation about the result as "shameful, malicious and tendentious."