December 09, 2011

ZAGREB (Reuters) -- Croatian anti-graft police have arrested two senior officials of the national soccer association (HNS) on suspicion of match-rigging, state news agency Hina reported on Friday.

HNS vice-president and former international referee Zeljko Siric was arrested together with the head of the association's referee commission, Stjepan Djedovic.

They were charged with taking bribes to influence refereeing in at least one match of the local championship, Hina said.

The anti-graft police, USKOK, and HNS officials were not available for immediate comment.

Siric was regarded as one of the best Croatian referees and was often appointed to officiate games between local arch-rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split.

Last year, USKOK arrested some 20 players, coaches and managers for match-rigging in a betting scam. Most of them pleaded guilty and received fines or jail terms.

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