Former Belarus keeper denies match-fixing role

Updated: July 26, 2007, 2:08 PM ET
Reuters

MINSK, July 26 - Former Belarus goalkeeper Valery Shantolosov, charged with trying to fix two of his country's Euro 2004 qualifying matches, denied any wrongdoing on Thursday.

Belarus police have issued an arrest warrant for the 41-year-old after charging him with bribery and attempting to influence the outcome of Belarus' Euro 2004 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Moldova in September 2003.

"I'm not even aware the police are looking for me," Shantolosov was quoted as saying by Belarussian Web site Football.By.

"I'm not hiding, I've been back home many times and everyone knows where I work. I think this is just a pure provocation."

Shantolosov retired as a player in 2005 and now works as goalkeeping coach for Russian second division side Sibir Novosibirsk.

Belarus lost 3-1 at home to the Czechs in Minsk on Sept. 6 and then in Moldova 2-1 four days later.

They finished bottom of their five-team group, winning just one of their eight qualifying matches.

The Czechs won the group and qualified automatically for the finals that were staged in Portugal the following summer.

Shantolosov did not play in either of the two games he is charged with trying to fix after quitting the national team in 2002, but police alleged that he was part of an illegal Russian betting ring.

He had played for several top flight clubs in Belarus, Russia, Latvia and Kazakhstan and was also voted the best goalkeeper in Belarus in both 2001 and 2002.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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