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27th Aug 2016

Roberto Carlos’ Champions League draw leads to calls of conspiracy

Ian Rush has been accused too

Tom Victor

Thursday’s Champions League draw was relatively friendly to the four English teams involved, with Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City all presented with groups from which they would hope to qualify.

Roberto Carlos was one of the ex-players involved in this year’s draw, and supporters of many of the bigger clubs can be thankful to him for sparing them an obvious ‘group of death’.

Of course, we’re not suggesting the Brazilian legend deliberately ensured an easy passage to the knockout stages – but other people seem convinced he was at the centre of a huge conspiracy.

Most years you get unfounded theories about ‘warm balls’ being used to keep certain teams apart from one another, but some believe Roberto Carlos’ actions are even more suspicious.

They have noted that, during the draw, he removed one ball from a bowl before returning it and drawing out another.

He ends up drawing out Ludogorets Razgrad, the Bulgarian champions who took a point off Liverpool in the 2014/15 season.

They ended up in Group A, alongside PSG, Arsenal and Basel. Was there another team’s name in the ball he drew out first? We’ll never know. But we’re not sure what difference it makes to an Arsenal team that might otherwise have ended up facing the might of FC Copenhagen or Celtic.

Sure, Dinamo Zagreb were also an option, but the Croatians’ victory over the Gunners last season was the exception, not the rule. And anyway, if you were really going to fix a draw you surely wouldn’t make the pot 4 teams the focus. Surely…

Fans of a variety of clubs have cried conspiracy, though.

Amazingly, that’s not the only accusation of a conspiracy.

Some folks in Barcelona aren’t too pleased with Real Madrid receiving a more favourable draw (Borussia Dortmund, Sporting Clube and Legia Warsaw, compared to Barça’s opposition of Manchester City, Celtic and Borussia Moenchengladbach).

Their response has been to blame Ian Rush and produce this video, complete with MS Paint edits. What do you think?

It’s not as bad as those people who thought the draw was rigged in Leicester’s favour because, well, they didn’t seem to understand how seeding works.

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