The referee who took bribes to fix games has been suspended by the German Foootball Federation.

Robert Hoyzer has admitted fixing four games in return for payment from a gambling syndicate led by three Croatian brothers, who have also been arrested.

The growing scandal is in danger of overshadowing Germany’s preparations to host next year’s World Cup.

Berlin prosecutors are investigating 25 people, including three other referees and 14 players, on suspicion of fixing at least 10 games, mostly in the lower divisions.

If charged and convicted of fraud, Hoyzer could spend up to 10 years in jail.