Champions League referee implicated in match-fixing case

PRAGUE (AFP) – Czech referee Pavel Kralovec, who officiates in the Champions League, has been implied in a local match-fixing scandal, Czech media said yesterday.

The case involves former Czech Football Association (FACR) deputy head Roman Berbr, who has been in custody over suspected match-fixing since October.

Citing police wiretaps, the DNES broadsheet said Berbr had called Kralovec ahead of July’s Czech Cup final, in which Sparta Prague beat Slovan Liberec 2-1 to reach the Europa League group stage.

“Very simply, I need just one political thing, OK? You will understand. Josef Krula stopped by on Monday,” Berbr said, according to the wiretap.

Krula is Sparta’s sports manager and a former referee.

Kralovec, who answered that he did understand, came under fire after the game as he had notably refused to send off Sparta midfielder Martin Frydek for stepping on an opponent, despite calls from the video referee.