Zenit Denies Links to Mafia Match Fixing

Zenit St. Petersburg distanced itself on Thursday from reports of an alleged attempt by Russian mafia figures to fix last season's UEFA Cup semifinal between the Russian football club and Bayern Munich.

Judicial sources in Spain said Wednesday that a Spanish investigating judge had sent recordings purporting to reveal a match-fixing plot to German authorities.

Russian Premier League champion Zenit crushed Bayern 4-0 at home in its return match to win 5-1 on aggregate before going on to beat the Glasgow Rangers in the final of the competition.

"There is nothing to comment on because even if there is an investigation, Zenit has nothing to do with this," said Alexei Petrov, a spokesman for Zenit.

In a statement issued on the club's web site Wednesday, Zenit said its performance in the matches against Bayern and Glasgow "is the best proof the victories were achieved in honest, uncompromising contests."

Sports, Tourism and Youth Politics Minister Vitaly Mutko, who also serves as president of the Russian Football Union, said the allegations of match fixing were another attempt to discredit football in the country.

UEFA, European football's governing body, said Wednesday it was aware of the reports about a match-fixing investigation. Bayern said Wednesday it had no information about the reports.