Soccer-Bulgaria's Minyor handed stadium ban after fan violence

SOFIA Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:43pm IST

SOFIA Aug 22 (Reuters) - Bulgarian club Minyor Pernik have been given a three-match stadium ban following crowd trouble during their home league game against Lokomotiv Sofia at the weekend, the country's football union (BFU) said on Wednesday.

Angry Minyor fans physically assaulted Lokomotiv's chief executive Georgi Markov during Saturday's goalless draw.

The former Bulgaria defender, known as a tough tackler during his playing days, was punched, kicked and hit by a bottle and other objects.

Police arrested one fan after the match but said another 12 offenders had been identified and will be charged with hooliganism.

"I've never seen anything like this," Markov, 40, told reporters. "They should expel them (Minyor) from the league."

Minyor matches have a history of fan violence. In 2010, the Pernik-based side received a two-match stadium ban after crowd trouble disrupted their Bulgarian Cup quarter-final game at Chernomorets Pomorie.

The latest punishment will affect Minyor's home games against CSKA Sofia, Botev Vratsa and Etar Veliko Tarnovo. The new venue for the games is yet to be decided.

Bulgarian media criticised the BFU, saying the sanction was too mild.

Minyor, who were also fined 10,000 levs ($6,400), are 14th in the standings with one point from two matches this term. ($1 = 1.5673 Bulgarian levs) (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Mark Meadows)