European Football - Bulgaria suspends four referees for poor officiating

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) has suspended four referees for making significant mistakes in domestic matches following widespread criticism over the standard of refereeing in the Balkan country.

Reuters
European Football - Bulgaria suspends four referees for poor officiating
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Bulgarian referee Ivaylo Stoyanov (IMAGO)

"The BFU's refereeing commission is seriously concerned by the rise of referees' mistakes and (want) ... all officials to adhere strictly to the rules of the game," the commission said in a statement on Thursday after outlining the suspension.

No details were given about the length of the suspensions.

Ivaylo Stoyanov (pictured) and his assistant Veselin Mishev have been taken off the roster for poor officiating during Levski Sofia's 1-1 draw at Cherno More Varna in the Bulgarian league on Saturday, the BFU's refereeing commission said.

Levski levelled the score after 12 minutes when Slovenian Rene Mihelic scored from what seemed to be a two-metre offside position, sparking furious protests from the Cherno More players and coaching staff.

Kalin Lyudmilov and linesman Ivaylo Milkov were suspended for blunders during Lokomotiv Sofia's controversial 1-0 win at city rivals CSKA in the Bulgarian Cup's quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Less than 10 minutes from time, Lyudmilov awarded a free kick and then wrongly changed his decision after consulting Milkov, awarding a penalty with Lokomotiv's Daniel Peev scoring the winner from the spot.

Lyudmilov also showed a second yellow card to CSKA defender Kostadin Stoyanov amid chaotic scenes over the penalty decision only to rescind his decision and show a yellow to Stoyanov's team mate Apostol Popov instead.

Referee suspensions are not uncommon in Bulgaria with dozens of officials receiving bans in recent seasons.

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