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6th September, 2019

Charges pressed in bribery of handball referees



Prosecutors have pressed charges against four handball referees suspected of taking bribes to influence the outcome of games in Hungary’s top flight, Budapest prosecutor general Tibor Ibolya announced on Thursday.

Four other suspects have also been charged in the case.

Two pairs of referees allegedly accepted sums varying from Ft 150,000 to Ft 500,000 to influence or attempt to influence the results of five first and second division games and cup matches in 2016 and 2017.

Ibolya said the four other defendants are two coaches, a sports club president and an outsider.

These defendants allegedly also tried to bribe more referees, who, however, rejected the Ft 100,000 sum offered for “an invitation to dinner and smoothing things out” and reported the matter to the referees committee.

Criminal proceedings were launched on the basis of surveillance by the National Defence Service as well as complaints, as one of the referees was a police officer when the bribery was committed, who refereed handball games in his spare time.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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