Referees threatened after Belarusian league match

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A group of referees were stopped on the roadside and threatened after overseeing a draw between the top two teams in the Belarusian league, the national soccer federation said Monday.

The incident happened when the referee and his assistants were traveling by car with the match inspector following Sunday’s 2-2 draw between leader BATE Borisov and second-place Shakhter Soligorsk, the federation said.

A vehicle containing unknown people apparently braked sharply to force the officials’ car to stop. The referees were then ordered out of the car, and “insulted and threatened” with reference to the game between BATE and Shakhter, according to the federation.

The federation called the incident “categorically unacceptable.” It said that a video recording from the dashboard camera in the referees’ car could be passed on to authorities as evidence.

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Belarus has long struggled with attempts to manipulate or influence the outcome of games, and the federation has regularly banned players for match-fixing.

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