Have Liverpool (and Everton) ever been a victim of UEFA skullduggery? We can almost say yes after witnessing the multiple fines handed out to us last season, but it appears the corruption may lie much deeper.
Sepp Blatter, disgraced former FIFA CEO, has remarkably claimed that he’s aware of high profile UEFA draws which have been fixed.
“I never touched the balls,” he told Argentine paper La Nacion. “Of course, you can mark them (by) heating them or cooling them.
“I witnessed draws at the European level where that happened. But never at FIFA. Of course it can be done.
“You put the balls in the refrigerator beforehand. Just by comparing one and the other when you touch them you can tell the cold balls from the hot. When you touch them, you know what they are.”
So… Blatter is admitting that European draws have been fixed? This is truly shocking, although entirely believable.
The Echo, who are similarly outraged by the quotes, made this point regarding draws we’ve experienced:
“In previous years English teams enjoyed draws against clubs like Zilinia of Slovakia (Chelsea 2004), ZTE of Hungary (Manchester United 2003) and Željeznicar of Bosnia (Newcastle in 2002) – but in 2005 Everton were handed the toughest draw imaginable against Spanish side Villarreal – who went on to reach that season’s semi-finals.
“Liverpool fans were also bemused to draw national rivals Chelsea in the 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Champions League knockout stages, and also in the 2006 group stages, at a time English teams were dominating the competition.”
There’s no proof that any English sides have been directly affected by rugged draws, but the fact Blatter is making these claims about UEFA certainly begs the question.
Of course, the man cannot be trusted and we’d look into every word the lying Swiss says – but his claims are still worrying.
We hope that a proper investigation is taken into exactly what he’s referring to, as the footballing world cannot have this hanging over its head.