Did UEFA fix the Champions League draw?

The talk of the sporting blogs recently has been all about the Champions League quarter-final draw, which was held in Nyon, Switzerland, at 13:00 CET on Friday, Mar 14. At 10:28 GMT that day (about 90 minutes ahead of the draw), a poster – nicknamed “confused” – on the Liverpool Echo’s forums started a topic called “Possible leak of draw“.

“Confused” predicted the four ties, as well as their semi final matchups, to be:

Rumour going around draw has been leaked….. this is no doubt rubbish but if Rumour is true it’s LFC – arsenal and Chelsea – fenerbache and manure v roma
No bookies will take bets on the draw either…….

In case it isn’t clear by now, the draw that was made saw the exact same results: Arsenal would face Liverpool, the winner of which would face either Chelsea or Fenerbahçe; and AS Roma v Man Utd, the winner of which would meet the winner from the other quarter final featuring FC Barcelona and Schalke 04.

UEFA have flatly rejected the claims – the odds of getting it spot-on were in the region of 191-1 (119-1 by some sources) – as “impossible” and “ridiculous”. Spokesman William Gaillard (who will be familiar to a lot of English fans, especially Liverpool ones) did point out that the rehearsal draw, held before the actual one, had different results from the actual draw.

That’s not the point here, is it, Mr Gaillard? The point is that people suspect the actual draw was leaked. The practice one could have gone any way, and it wouldn’t have mattered, as it’s not the practice draw that is suspected to have been fixed.

Did UEFA fix the CL draw? And for what?

It’s hard to argue either way. 191-1 are tremendously incredible odds. Would UEFA have a motive for doing so? Yes, money. But surely then they’d have paired Chelsea and Barcelona together. So perhaps they didn’t fix it.

Either way, with UEFA strenuously denying it, we’ll never know, will we?


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