Bulgarian bookmakers have decided to stop taking bets on several games in the Bulgarian football championship amid fears that they could fixed, Bulgarian-language daily 24 Chassa and The Sofia Echo reported this weekend.

Eurofootball stopped taking bets for the April 25 2009 second division game between Volov Shoumen and Svetkavitsa Targovishte football clubs, while Sportingbet did the same with the first division game between Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Minyor Pernik scheduled for the same day.

The two leading bookies did not say why they closed the books on the two games but, according to 24 Chassa, this is usually done when games start attracting suspiciously high bets, prompting doubts that results could be fixed.

Speculation about fixed results surfaced after the Lokomotiv Mezdra vs Levski Sofia first division game on April 23 2009 which Levski won 3-1. Levski is one of the two top teams in Bulgaria, always a contender for the title, while the small team of Lokomotiv Mezdra made its debut in the country’s top division this year with mixed performance. Bookies stopped taking bets an hour before the game on suspicions of a fixed final result. Only Bet365 continued accepting bets for a 3-1 win for Levski.

The bet for a 3-1 win for Levski went down from its usual for such games, 12/1 to 4/1, which according to 24 Chassa showed major wagering interest in this specific result. Indeed, Lokomotiv Mezdra surprisingly opened the score against Levski in the fourth minute. Levski turned the game around in the second half.

The clubs denied all allegations of fixing.

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