Gomis: Wink by Dinamo’s Vida was purely innocent

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.