• Premier League

Debrecen goalkeeper reveals Portsmouth offer

ESPN staff
February 7, 2013
Liverpool game part of match-fixing probe

Debrecen goalkeeper Vukasin Poleksic believes he may have avoided becoming embroiled in a match-fixing scandal had he joined Portsmouth when he had the opportunity six years ago.

Poleksic is reportedly at the heart of an investigation into a 2009 Champions League match between Hungarian side Debrecen and Liverpool, in which the goalkeeper is said to have been approached to let in at least three goals to trigger an 'over 2.5 goals' bet.

The Montenegro international has already served a two-year ban for failing to report an approach to fix a match against Fiorentina in the same Champions League group stage. Poleksic says all of these troubles may never have occurred had he accepted an offer from Harry Redknapp to move to the Premier League.

"In 2007-08, I had some chance to go to Portsmouth," Poleksic told Telegraph Sport. "I had some very big offer to go but I said, 'No, I'll stay to play in the Champions League and maybe next summer go'.

"It was a mistake because I got this punishment. Maybe, if I had gone there, who knows?"

Poleksic admits he was naive not to report being approached in the first instance, but believes he has been treated harshly in recent years.

"For the first one or two months, I was in shock," he said. "I just couldn't believe that this happened to me. You can't sleep. I lost everything.

"I was thinking of leaving football. Yes, because if you do nothing bad and they accuse you and they put you in every newspaper in my country, people read it and look at you strangely, like some criminal.

"I didn't want to lie. Maybe if I said nobody called me, they would've given me nothing, if I said: 'Nobody called me, you don't have proof, f*** off'. But I was a little bit naive."

The 30-year-old also stated that he hopes those involved directly in match-fixing should be handed lengthy sentences once the investigations have been completed.

"Everybody who is involved has to pay," Poleksic added. "I didn't fix anything and I paid two years. If somebody goes to see football and you know what the result will be, it's not good for football.

"I believe in myself. But, because of this situation, maybe people believe that I am not a clean person." .

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