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© AP, Dec 09, 2011

Gomis: Wink by Dinamo's Vida was purely innocent


PARIS(AP) The infamous wink by Dinamo Zagreb defender Domagoj Vida at Bafetimbi Gomis during their Champions League game was completely innocent, according to the Lyon striker.

Gomis scored four times in Lyon's 7-1 away win on Wednesday to seal a last-16 spot in the Champions League. The margin and apparent ease of some of the goals led to rumors of a fix.

After Lisandro Lopez scored Lyon's fifth goal, Gomis rushed over to grab the ball out of the net for a quick restart.

Vida held onto the ball, so Gomis moved alongside him as if to urge him to release it.

Vida gave Gomis a wink and a thumbs up, gestures which prompted speculation that they constituted proof that Vida acted inappropriately - with that theory allegedly compounded by the heavy scoreline.

''We were having a laugh (together) on the field,'' Gomis told sports daily L'Equipe on Friday.

Gomis said there was no hidden meaning behind it, and that he had even spoken to Vida in Croatian after learning a few words from his Lyon teammate Dejan Lovren.

''I know some Croatian words thanks to Dejan,'' Gomis added. ''But this match was not fixed. The Croats really wanted to win even at 10 against 11, even at 1-1.''

Also, Gomis and Vida were facing each other for the second time in a matter of weeks, with Gomis scoring in the first match at Stade Gerland on Sept. 27, which Lyon won 2-0.

''Football is not war. We played each other twice this year, we know each other and respect each other a lot,'' Gomis added on RMC radio station. ''When we scored we wanted to get the ball back straight away ... he took the ball and I wanted to grab if off him.''

Neither UEFA's gambling fraud detection system nor France's online gambling regulator ARJEL found anything suspicious about the game after looking into betting patterns. However, UEFA is awaiting reports from officials at the match before deciding whether to investigate further.

Ajax, the team that was eliminated on goal difference after losing to Real Madrid 3-0, wants UEFA to investigate, and Lyon has responded by saying the Dutch team's ''hurt'' has prompted its angry reaction.

''Hurt by its defeat and elimination, the Amsterdam club is trying to find an explanation somewhere else,'' Lyon said on its website, adding that it finds the suspicions aimed at Lyon ''insulting and unacceptable.''

Drastically out of form in the French league, Gomis chose the perfect night to end a barren spell dating back 10 matches to Oct. 15.

He scored the quickest ever Champions League hat trick in seven minutes, and his four-goal haul in the European Cup put him alongside greats such as Marco van Basten.

''Dinamo is a team which likes to play (attack), and continued to take enormous risks ... they were certainly very naive (in defense) through lack of experience,'' Gomis said.


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