CSKA Sofia chief charged with embezzlement

SOFIA - Bulgarian champions CSKA Sofia's president Alexandar Tomov has been charged with embezzlement and document fraud, the prosecutors said on Friday.

Tomov and three other senior officials were accused of misappropriating more than 36 million levs ($23.58 million) from CSKA and insolvent steel mill Kremikovtzi, the Sofia prosecutors' office said in a statement.

The 54-year-old Tomov, a former Bulgarian vice-premier and a former Kremikovtzi director, could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Neither Tomov nor CSKA officials were available for immediate comment.

CSKA, the Balkan country's most successful club with 31 league titles, were banned from the Champions League last June after failing to meet licensing criteria because of debts to the state and creditors.

Tomov has complained the club had not received support from the Bulgarian Football Union and the European competition ban could have easily been avoided.

CSKA are second in the Bulgarian league standings with 32 points from 15 matches, one point behind their bitter city rivals Levski Sofia.