ASTANA: A sports news website which has published allegations of corrupt refereeing in Kazakhstan has complained to the prosecutor-general over a campaign of harassment which it blames on officials from the football federation.

According to RIA-Novosti, staff of website have received death threats by phone and on the internet, and messages threatening to blow up the company’s office.

Sportinfo said: “It is funny and sad that among the authors of these stinking messages, there are staff at the Kazakhstan Football Federation. The confirmation is the IP address where this filth was sent from.”

The malicious messages started after the website published articles that investigated unusual refereeing decisions in the Kazakhstan Premier League and claimed relatives of a leading referee had made large sums from betting on a game where he officiated. The site names the referee as Marat Iskakov, claiming he was rewarded for giving a spot kick to Shakhtyor Karagandy during a May 12 league game against FC Akzhayik.

The website published a copy of a letter it said staff had sent to Kazakhstan’s prosecutor-general, adding that it had also sent copies of the threatening messages.

The letter also contained a request for a thorough investigation of an assault on editor Geniy Tulgelenov by unknown assailants in March.

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