Strict security for Bulgaria's 'eternal derby'

SOFIA - Bulgarian police have unveiled tough security measures for Saturday's 'eternal derby' between traditional Bulgarian arch-rivals Levski and CSKA.

The domestic league restarts this weekend after its two-and-a-half month winter break.

"Some 1,300 policemen will be on duty for the match as we'll also use horses, dogs and specialised equipment to prevent public order offences," Sofia police chief inspector Anton Zlatanov told a news conference on Thursday.

Police, including nearly 40 members of a specialist riot squad, will be deployed in and around the Georgi Asparuhov stadium in the Sofia district of Poduene to keep rival supporters apart.

"We met with the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) officials and we suggested an earlier kickoff as we didn't want the game finishing in the dark but they didn't comply with this request," added Zlatanov.

Matches between Levski and CSKA, the two most popular clubs in the Balkan country, have been plagued by violence recently.

A 30-year-old man was killed by a bomb in 2000 and hooliganism and arrests have been rife since.

Levski are second in the standings with 32 points from 15 matches, five points behind leaders Litex Lovech. CSKA are fifth on 26.