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18 April 2024

Banned Bulgarian refs fake identities


Three Bulgarian match officials banned for suspected match-fixing faked their identities to officiate a friendly game between Werder Bremen and AZ Alkmaar last week in Turkey, the referees' association said on Saturday.

"Lachezar Yonov refereed the game between Werder Bremen v AZ Alkmaar under a fake name," the Bulgarian association said in a statement on its website, www.bgreferee.org.

Yonov, stripped of his rights a year ago, presented himself as another referee, Raycho Raychev from the eastern town of Sliven, at the Wednesday game in the Turkish resort of Belek, the statement said.

His assistants at the game -- Emil Mitev and Petar Taralov -- also pretended to be other people, it added.

The real Raychev told the 7 Dni Sport newspaper he was "indignant" his name had been exploited in such a way and threatened to sue the impostor.

Yonov, Mitev and Taralov were stripped of their referee rights for life last year for officiating at games in Argentina and Venezuela when they were subject to temporary bans, the newspaper reported.