October 1, 2008 / 5:29 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Judge passes on alleged Bayern-Zenit fix tape

(Adds UEFA reaction)

MADRID, Oct 1 (Reuters) - A Spanish judge has sent German authorities recordings that allege Russian mafia figures tried to fix last season’s UEFA Cup semi-final between Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

Russian champions Zenit crushed Bayern 4-0 at home in the second leg to win 5-1 on aggregate before going on to beat Rangers in the final.

Spanish newspaper El Pais said the Operation Troika investigation against the Russian mafia led by investigating judge Baltasar Garzon had uncovered evidence the second leg might have been fixed.

“The judge has sent to the German attorney general part of the conversations that were intercepted in Spain during the investigation into Russian plots in our country,” judicial sources told Reuters.

Bayern Munich said on Wednesday they had no information about the reports.

“Bayern know as little about this as the Munich prosecutor’s office,” the club said in a statement. “We will try to obtain all the information available.”

Zenit were not immediately available for comment.

A UEFA spokesman said his organisation “was aware of the report”.

“We are waiting for the Spanish judge to share the facts with us,” the spokesman said.

“But until then, these are only reports. UEFA takes a zero tolerance approach to this issue.”

Last week European soccer’s governing body launched a gambling investigation unit after it emerged 25 UEFA Cup matches were being studied due to irregular betting patterns.

UEFA said it had started reviewing 10 matches from the current season and 15 from last season, all from preliminary rounds of the UEFA Cup.

Those games, UEFA believe, could have been affected by irregular betting, a growing problem in soccer and other sports such as tennis.

Additional reporting by Kevin Fylan in Berlin and Darren Ennis in Brussels Reporting by Ben Harding, editing by Justin Palmer

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