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04 December 2023

Ex-Croatian midfielder Pralija detained over bribery


Nenad Pralija, the ex-Croatian international midfielder and former official at first division side Split, was detained on Wednesday in connection with a probe into bribery and match-fixing, media reported.

The national anti-graft bureau USKOK has been probing alleged corruption by Pralija, a police spokeswoman told HINA news agency without elaborating.

Pralija's arrest is part of an ongoing probe into the rigging of matches and bribing referees, national television said. As part of the investigation another three top football officials were detained in the past month.

They include Croatia football federation (HNS) vice-president Zeljko Siric and the head of the national refereeing association, Stjepan Djedovic.

Pralija, 41, was detained in the central costal town of Split and is expected to be transferred to Zagreb later in the day.

Pralija started his carrier in his hometown club of Split, joining Hajduk Split in 1993 before leaving after three seasons for La Liga's Espanyol. He also later played for Reggina in Italy and Maccabi Haifa in Israel, and won 11 caps for the Croatia national side.

He resigned as Split's sports director in August 2011.

Last December, a  Zagreb court found 15 former players and officials guilty of fixing Croatian first division matches and sentenced them to jail terms of up to 10 months.

Croatia launched a probe into suspicious games in late 2009 after receiving information from German police.


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