Zenit St Petersburg's Dutch manager Dick Advocaat is appalled by match-fixing allegations made in the Spanish media regarding their Uefa Cup semi-final win over Bayern Munich last season. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported a judge had forwarded information to German prosecutors which claimed a gang with links to the Russian mafia had given money to Bayern ahead of the match.
Zenit beat the Bundesliga outfit 4-0 in the second leg of their semi-final before beating the Scottish side Rangers in the final. "This is incredible," Advocaat told the Scottish newspaper 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. "Do you honestly think clubs like Bayern Munich or Rangers would get involved in taking money to lose football matches? That is just ridiculous."
In a statement on their official website, Zenit said: "In a section of the media, news has popped up which refers to different Spanish sources, and directly affects FC Zenit's reputation. "The quality of play shown by FC Zenit in the games against Rangers FC and Bayern Munich is the best proof that the victories were earned by Zenit in honest and non-compromising challenges. "Allegations of deals mentioned in the media are offensive to all parties mentioned.
"At this moment FC Zenit's legal department are evaluating the origins of the story." Bayern have also denied all knowledge of the allegations. "Bayern Munich knows nothing about this suspicion, and neither does the Munich prosecutor's office," said a club statement. Meanwhile, Fifa yesterday warned the Polish authorities that the country's two World Cup qualifiers next month will be forfeited unless the government reinstates the Football Association by Monday. Poland are due to face the Czech Republic on Oct 11 and Slovakia four days later.
If they forfeit the matches, their opponents would be awarded regulation 3-0 victories. The Polish FA were suspended on Monday for allegedly failing to address corruption, and the government have appointed an administrator to run the organisation, but Uefa and Fifa say they will not recognise the administrator. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org