Romanian referees chief arrested over bribery

BUCHAREST - The head of the Romanian Referees Commission (CCA) has been arrested on suspicion of taking bribes from a businessman close to a first division football club, anti-corruption prosecutors said on Sunday.

Vasile Avram, whose CCA is part of the Romanian Football Federation, is accused of receiving 19,000 euros from businessman Sorin-Ioan Terbea in exchange for appointing referees favourable to soccer team FCM Targu Mures.

He would be held for 29 days, officials said.

"Today, a Bucharest court decided to arrest Vasile Avram for bribe-taking and Sorin-Ioan Terbea for giving bribes for 29 days," Livia Saplacan, spokeswoman for the national anti-corruption prosecuting office (DNA) told Reuters.

The DNA said in a statement that on May 21, when he was acting as a supervisor for a first division match between FCM Targu-Mures and Universitatea Cluj, Avram received the money through two intermediaries to nominate referees for matches in the 2011-12 championship.

Avram's lawyers have appealed against his detention, local media reported.