Three Bulgarian match officials banned from soccer for life faked their identities to officiate a friendly game between Werder Bremen and AZ Alkmaar, last week in Turkey, according to the Bulgarian referees' association web site.
Luchezar Yonov, stripped of his rights a year ago, presented himself as another referee, Raycho Raychev, from the eastern town of Sliven, at last Wednesday’s game in the Turkish resort of Belek, the statement said. His assistants at the game, Emil Mitev and Petar Taralov, also pretended to be other people. The real Raychev told the 7 Dni Sport newspaper he was "indignant" his name had been exploited in such a way and threatened to sue the impostor. "I will take all necessary measures to clear my name," Raichev told the Bulgarian football referees association's web site: "What they did is so sneaky."
Luchezar Yonov and his assistants Petar Tarulov and Emil Mitev were among the referees who were suspended in 2011 for officiating at international matches in Argentina and Venezuela while they were subject to temporary bans for suspected match-fixing, the newspaper reported. "This story convinces us the decision we took last year was right," Bulgarian Football Union referees committee chairman Kostadin Kostadinov told state television BNT. Bundesliga club Werder came back from a goal down to beat their Dutch opponents 2-1. "I read some reports and they said there were 10 minutes of added time, a controversial penalty and a free kick in the ninth minute of added time", said Kostadinov. The Bulgarian referees association has urged the BFU to inform UEFA about the incident.