Reports in Germany earlier in the week have filtered through to the English press today regarding allegations that Besiktas players were involved in match-fixing, the game in question being Liverpool’s record-breaking 8-0 win over the Turkish side. According to the reports, a late surge of bets were made on Besiktas losing heavily against the five-times champions, who they’d actually beaten in the home fixture.
There is no suggestion at all that Liverpool or their players were aware of the alleged fixing. Liverpool haven’t commented on the allegations because they say they’ve not been made aware of any.
This game is being reported as one of fifteen UEFA handed details of to police relating to match fixing. UEFA may not be in a position to act on the allegations until the police enquiry is completed
If UEFA did decide to act on this quickly, it’s unclear exactly what they would do about games already played. One option would be to cancel all the results involving the Turkish outfit, and so make Group A into a three-team group.
This would mean no game for Porto on the final day of the group, with the Liverpool and Marseille game the decider as to who would go through.
With Besiktas’ results removed, Porto would still lead the table on five points from four games, with a goal difference of -2. Marseille and Liverpool would be both on four points from three games, and despite Liverpool having the better goal difference Marseilles would still be above the Reds due to their result against each other earlier in the tournament.
A draw in this final game would then leave all three teams on five points, and would mean that both Marseilles and Liverpool would go through, with Liverpool top on goal difference. A Marseilles win would see them top the group and Liverpool go out, a Liverpool win would do the reverse.
However there is no saying that UEFA would do this, even if they had come to any conclusion on the matter before match day six. UEFA may find it easier to wait and see if Besiktas qualify first, if they didn’t then the governing body would be able to fine the side and perhaps restrict their entry into future competitions, and no changes would be made to the results.
Whatever happens, a win for Liverpool in Marseilles will guarantee they go through to the knock-outs.