Croatian officials arrested in bribery probe

Croatian anti-graft police have arrested two senior officials of the national football association (HNS) on suspicion of match-rigging, state news agency Hina reported on Friday.

HNS vice-president and former international referee Zeljko Siric (pictured) was arrested together with the head of the association's referee commission, Stjepan Djedovic.

They were charged with taking bribes to influence refereeing in at least one match of the local championship, Hina said.

The anti-graft police, USKOK, was not available for immediate comment.

HNS spokesman said they had no detailed information about arrests at the moment.

"We're waiting to see for what kind of activities may Siric and Djedovic possibly be under suspicion. HNS welcomes any police action in preventing illegal activities," Davor Gavran told reporters.

Siric was regarded as one of the best Croatian referees and was often appointed to officiate games between local arch-rivals Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split.

Last year, USKOK arrested some 20 players, coaches and managers for match-rigging in a betting scam. Most of them pleaded guilty and received fines or jail terms.