And it was so. Last Sunday in one of the messengers appeared sensational message. The anonymous author of the telegram channel wrote that FIFA referee Sergey Lapochkina from St. Petersburg allegedly “caught in betting on the tote”.

There followed by a sequel: according to one author, “trial began in Latvia, where local police were arrested and soon released a former judge Paul Stipidi. He is suspected of fraud on betting: betting on the number of yellow cards in international matches. Allegedly in cahoots with him were the acting Russian referee Sergei Lapochkin. The proceedings in the ethics Committee of UEFA is scheduled for Monday.”

considering the popularity of football and no less – the topic of refereeing in the Russian Premier League, the shocking news was immediately spread on a huge number of official online media.

But it was Monday, and no proceedings at UEFA, of course, did not take place. And the correspondent “RG” has met with Paul Stipidi, who for many years lived in his beloved home in the suburban village of Elizabeth. Curiously, when he was tried in the Russian championship (in his biography there are matches in the UEFA Cup), the Protocol matches next to his name was not in Krasnodar, and mysterious for all the Elizabethan.

– Pavel, what is going on? Please explain.

– That’s pretty much asked when on Sunday called the nephew and told about the events, says Stipidi. – The first thought, of course, Latvia. Let’s start with the fact that I there never was, even in Soviet times. Yes, and what now travel, when all the borders are closed? And then there’s the strange betting, bets. Plus nonsense about detention, it is necessary to understand the Latvian police.

– But the Network is already in full discussion of your “adventures”.

– However, soon there was a call from the newspaper “Sport-Express”. Her journalist I said something like this, and without choosing words – continues Paul. Said, I don’t know who would this lie with the poor and give to the press. To associate with this my name and surname is good enough of an arbitrator included in the list of FIFA, – Sergey Lapochkina, dunk us in the dirt… for the record, in my entire life, and I’m 63, I’m retired, have never traveled to Latvia.

And only when the evidence appeared on the website of the newspaper, calls poured in from other publications with requests to comment on the events. “A correspondent of one of the most popular Internet sports media, which I have explained in detail their point of view on everything that happened, I could not resist and asked: “You found my phone and called. However, why not do it immediately, but first put on a website the false news? After all, you could first check to see ��AK you?” – lamenting the source. – He agreed with me and apologized. But I do feel better now?”

According to Stipidi, he realizes why he became a target of such an attack. Recently Krasnodar “the Independent sports newspaper” has asked him to Express their point of view on refereeing decisions that took Sergei Lapochkin during the sensational match between the Moscow teams “Spartak” and “locomotive”, which was removed from the bench, head coach of “red-white” Domenico Tedesco. “I said that all decisions of the referee were reasonable, including in respect of the teacher, which, as we know, was subsequently suspended for three matches for the attack on the assistant referee. And still noted that in the German Bundesliga, where the coach came to our country so he wouldn’t have to. Don’t rule out the possibility that I, so to speak, paid for similar words, and Sergei Lapochkin – for their decisions on the field.”

Paul Stipidi bitterly observes: “As explained by specialists, it is virtually impossible to establish the person who owns this telegram channel, to the law to bring him to justice. It’s a pity, because in such a situation could be anyone. I created a name for itself in football for many years, when engaged in refereeing at the highest level, have worked in many professional teams, including in the Premier League. And now someone wants to slander”.

Despite the obviously fake news, the scandal on this issue continues to flare up. “The case of the Russian judges about betting on the tote. Truth or provocation?”, “Troubled history with the Russian referee” – here are the recent headlines in the media. According to experts, a little weird that its official position is still not expressed, the Russian football Union and RPL.