Saturday, January 14, 2012

Identity Theft: Banned Bulgarian Soccer Referee Assumes False Name to Work

In 2011, soccer referee Luchezar Yonov and his assistants Petar Tarulov and Emil Mitev were suspended by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) for failing to report their intent to officiate international matches in South America.

Yonov, serving his penalty for this bylaws violation, was reportedly so intent on continuing to work, he literally faked his way into the middle of this week's friendly between Werder Bremen and AZ Alkmaar.
Werder and AZ were aware of Yonov's ineligibility, but were apparently not aware of Yonov's physical appearance.

Yonov allegedly assumed the identity of eligible referee Raicho Raichev and fraudulently accepted the Werder-AZ assignment, which Werder won on a late goal, 2-1.

Raichev described Yonov's actions as "sneaky," while BFU refereeing commission chairman Kostadin Kostadinov told state television, "This story convinces us the decision we took last year was right."

Identity theft can truly manifest itself in all shapes and forms. For victim Raichev, it is an added headache in a profession where third parties—players, coaches and fans—consistently second guess any call that happens to go against their team of choice.

News: Banned Referee Uses False ID to Work Game


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