Sweeping police raids pick up Czech FA’s Berbr on match-fixing charges

October 19 – The vice-president of the Czech Football Association has been taken into custody after becoming embroiled in a match-fixing scandal he vehemently denies.

Roman Berbr, 66, was detained on Sunday after a ruling by the District Court for Prague though his legal team insist he is innocent.

“We believe that there are no reasons for this, and we filed a complaint on the spot,” Filip Seifert told Sport.Cz.

“My client … did not commit any criminal proceedings (sic). We have asked to inspect the file and we will defend ourselves properly against the accusation.”

Also detained after corruption-busting raids across the country by criminal investigators, according to Czech media, was the sports director of second tier club Slavoj Vyšehrad, Roman Rogoz, as well as a referee Tomáš Grimm and a former player Michal Káník.

Six years ago, Rogoz was acquitted of all charges after being suspected of corruption.

“He was definitely not part of any criminal group and will defend himself and prove that this was not the case,”  said his legal representative Oldřich Chudoba in response to the latest case.

Káník has match-fixing history having figured, according to the indictment, in a group of 22 people who allegedly influenced matches mainly in lower division competitions. He was reportedly convicted four years ago of offering bribes to referees and players.

Altogether, say Czech reports, 16 people are being investigated in the latest scandal, said to be masterminded by an organised crime group.

The defendants can face up to four years in prison for accepting a bribe, up to two years for bribery and up to five years for embezzlement.

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