Zagreb, Croatia: Croatia's anti-graft prosecutors USKOK said on Friday they had charged three former top local football officials for taking bribes to influence refereeing in First Division matches.
The Croatian football federation (HNS) former vice-president and former referee Zeljko Siric and a member of HNS refereeing commission Stjepan Djedovic were charged with taking 30,000 euros (37,000 dollars) in bribes, an USKOK statement said.
The money was received in December 2011 from a Hajduk Split official. The two promised to enable "correct refereeing" of the club's matches, meaning that only referees from a list suggested by Hajduk Split would oversee its matches.
The third suspect Neven Sprajcer, a former Karlovac club official, was charged for making a deal with Siric to pay him 15,000 euros to ensure a "fair refereeing" for his club.
The suspects were detained in December last year but were later released.
If found guilty they could be sentenced up to five years in jail.
Croatian football is facing a deep crisis and the federation has been held largely responsible for it. Several first division sides are suffering financial hardship, while match-fixing and bribing scandals have rocked the country.
In December, a Zagreb court sentenced 15 players and football officials for rigging eight First Division matches in the first process of its kind in the Balkan country.
The federation on Thursday unanimously elected former star player Davor Suker as its new head who pledged to "return the faith in both football and refereeing."