In 2018, the Girondins de Bordeaux traveled to Latvia for the second round of qualifying for the Europa League.
In the first leg, Gustavo Poyet’s players had taken a short advantage (2-1) thanks to goals from François Kamano and Jules Koundé. It was therefore necessary to remain on guard before the match played in the small stadium of Ventspils on July 26, 2018.
But what the Girondins probably did not know is that this meeting in Latvia had been targeted by a few ill-intentioned punters. Indeed, almost three years after the events, UEFA has just announced the provisional suspension of Russian referee Sergei Lapotschkin who was officiating that day.
The 39-year-old Russian has, for the moment, been suspended for 90 days on a provisional basis, while UEFA decides on the matter.
Thanks to the work of Latvian investigators and telephone tapping, it was revealed that Sergei Lapotschkin had been approached before this meeting to influence the scenario of the match. The Russian referee is criticized in particular for not having notified UEFA as required in such a case.
In the return match, the Girondins won 1-0 in Latvia thanks to a goal from Zaydou Youssouf and some Russian media, which have watched the match once again in recent days, indicate that the referee brigade did not commit any obvious error.
For Lapotschkin, present on the UEFA list of international referees since 2013, will this story spell the end of his career?