Bulgaria's parliament has approved legal amendments to make match-fixing and corruption in sport a crime with penalties of up to six years in prison.

Lawmakers voted on Thursday to add a whole new chapter ''Offenses against Sports'' to the Penal Code under which those convicted of match-fixing or bribing will also face fines of up to ?7,600 ($10,800).

Last year, authorities investigated allegations of match-fixing in eight football matches but legal proceedings stumbled over the lack of provision in criminal law.

The new legislation is expected also to counter illegal online betting which has gained immense popularity in the country.