Bulgarian referee suspended over errors

SOFIA, March 15 (Reuters) - Bulgarian referee Nikolay Yordanov has been banned for two months for making mistakes in champions Litex Lovech's 2-1 win at second from bottom Pirin Blagoevgrad on Saturday.

Yordanov's ban, imposed by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) on Tuesday, came after a furious protest from Pirin over his failure to penalise Litex's Brazilian winger Doka Madureira for a head-butt on Anton Kostadinov early in the second half.

Later on Tuesday, the BFU's disciplinary commission also banned Doka for four matches following the presentation of the referee's report.

"This sanction is outrageous and we'll most probably appeal against it," said Litex general manager Stoycho Stoilov.

Among the games Doka, the club's leading scorer with eight goals, will miss for the Bulgarian leaders are the league match against third-placed CSKA Sofia on April 10 and the Bulgarian Cup quarter-final against Levski Sofia four days earlier.


Soon after Saturday's head-butt incident, Doka scored the equalising goal for Litex and then laid on the winner for Senegalese striker Pape Diouf.

"The BFU punishment (for Yordanov) is rather symbolic," Pirin's chief executive Emil Nakov told local media. "They should ban such referees for life."

Litex also complained about Saturday's game, saying the referee failed to award an obvious penalty.

In 2008, Yordanov was suspended for four matches after making a series of blunders in a game that ended a 33-match unbeaten league run for then-champions CSKA.

Yordanov is Bulgaria's second UEFA referee to be banned this season after Angel Angelov was suspended in November until the end of the season.

Litex are top of the table with 46 points from 18 matches followed by Levski on 38 and CSKA on 35.