Bribery scandal: Belgium seeks UEFA probe

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Belgium has asked UEFA to investigate reports that a Polish player was offered bribes to ensure that his team lost a European Championship qualifier.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:38 IST
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The Belgian soccer federation asked UEFA on Thursday to investigate reports that a Polish player was offered bribes to make sure his team lost a European Championship qualifier against Belgium. Poland beat Belgium 1-0 late Wednesday, and reports that defender Jacek Bak was offered $13,000 to secure a defeat surfaced early Thursday. "The Belgian federation will ask UEFA for a thorough investigation in this case, condemns in the strongest terms these kinds of isolated incidents," the national body said in a statement. Poland coach Leo Beenhakker said on Thursday he knew of the incident but considered it the act of an unstable individual. "I indirectly heard some idiot had called. I didn't attach any importance to it. After the phone call, we went out and played soccer and I think we did our duty," said Beenhakker. The 33-year-old Bak was reportedly offered a bribe to give away a penalty kick, but he wouldn't confirm the details. "A couple of hours before the match I got a mysterious telephone call. I can't talk about specifics, but it was something along the lines of a bribery attempt," he said. Belgium has been hit by soccer bribery scandals over the past year, with the cases mainly involving minor first division teams. The Polish federation said on Thursday that it was also investigating the report and that it would "collect documentation essential for taking further legal actions." Radoslaw Matusiak scored in the 18th minute as Poland took second place in Group A. (AP)

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