Sofia: Nine people, including top-flight footballers, have been arrested in Bulgaria for alleged involvement in match-fixing, the Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The ministry did not name the players but reports indicated that they included CSKA Sofia defender Alexander Tunchev, Lokomotiv Plovdiv striker Martin Kamburov and Chernomore Varna defender Kiril Kotev.
According to reports, the probe centred on matches involving Lokomotiv Plovdiv last season.
But Lokomotiv director Atanas Uzunov downplayed the allegations.
"Lokomotiv Plovdiv cannot be implicated in match-fixing. I suppose that this (probe) concerns something old," Uzunov told public BNT television.
Allegations of match-fixing and suspicious betting practices have frequently been exposed by the media in Bulgaria in the past years.
Prosecutors have, however, found it impossible to pursue cases as Bulgaria`s penal code did not include penalties for match-fixing and illegal sports betting until 2011, when the offences became punishable by up to eight years in jail.