Bosnia soccer officials jailed for 5 years over tax

SARAJEVO Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:21pm GMT

SARAJEVO Nov 23 (Reuters) - Bosnia's state court on Monday sentenced two top officials of the national soccer federation (NFSBiH) to five years in prison over tax evasion and abuse of office between 2001 and 2006.

NFSBiH secretary general Munib Usanovic and finance and marketing secretary Miodrag Kures were found guilty of evading taxes on turnover of products and services, as well as of illegal misappropriation of the NFSBiH funds.

"The two evaded a total of 306,477 Bosnian marka ($235,751) in taxes and abused office by misappropriating $253,932 without a valid reason and proper documentation and thus obtaining personal gain," the court said in a statement.

It ordered Musanovic and Kures to repay the funds.

The public image of NFSBiH had been hurt by allegations of involvement in illegal activities and corruption.

Until last year several of Bosnia's foreign-based players had boycotted international matches calling for resignations of the heads of NFSBiH, who they said were elected or appointed because of ethnic affiliation rather than professional qualifications. ($1=1.32 Bosnian marka) (Reporting by Maja Zuvela) ((maja.zuvela@thomsonreuters.com; +387 33 295 484; Reuters Messaging: maja.zuvela.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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