16.10.2020 14:25 h

Czech police detain 19 people over match-fixing

Czech police on Friday detained 19 people including deputy Czech FA head Roman Berbr over corruption and match-fixing following a nationwide raid, a prosecutor and local media said.

"The procedure concerns the activity of an organised criminal group dealing with... match-fixing," Prague prosecutor Daniela Bartikova said in a statement.

"Nineteen people were detained," she added.

Local media said those detained included Roman Berbr, a controversial deputy chairman of the Czech Football Association. Authorities declined to confirm the information.

Czech FA spokesman Michal Jurman said the organised crime squad had raided the association's Prague headquarters. Media said other spots linked to football were targeted as well.

Berbr has held his post since 2013 and according to local media has been pulling the strings in Czech football for years.

The 66-year-old former referee, who is married to the EU member's first-ever female referee Dagmar Damkova, served as a secret police agent during the communist era.

Media have pointed to Berbr in relation to corruption cases and bullying at the FA, but he has never been charged.

His former boss Miroslav Pelta led the FA until he was detained in 2017 on charges of bribery and abuse of power. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted in the trial currently under way.