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Soccer-Bulgarian fan on hunger strike seeking referee's life ban

Reuters

SOFIA, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A CSKA Sofia fan has gone on hunger strike demanding life ban for a Bulgarian referee who has already been suspended for his poor officiating in a domestic league match earlier this month.

Stanislav Todorov, one of Bulgaria's leading referees, has been banned by the Balkan country's football union (BFU) for an unspecified period after his performance during Cherno More Varna's 2-1 win over CSKA.

CSKA fan Boris Borisov, however, is not satisfied with the punishment.

"I want to attract the attention of the society," Borisov told local media on Saturday. "There's no place for this referee in the Bulgarian football."

Police in the north-eastern town of Shumen said Todorov, a married man with a three-year-old son, has lodged a complaint following a series of threats against him and his family.

"I've never seen such an arrogant person as Todorov," Borisov said. "This guy shouldn't be allowed to officiate again."

The tense Nov. 3 encounter in Varna was full of controversial decisions with Cherno More scoring from a free kick, awarded by Todorov for what looked an obvious dive by home team captain Georgi Iliev.

Among the other contentious issues was a dubious penalty in favour of Cherno More and the 31-times champions CSKA also had a 'goal' disallowed with no hint of offside or foul play and their penalty appeal for what looked like a handball was waved away too.

CSKA coach Stoycho Mladenov was sent to the stands for protesting to Todorov after becoming increasingly frustrated when the referee failed to punish a defender for hitting former Stoke City striker Mamady Sidibe, who joined The Reds earlier this year.

"My conscience is clean," Todorov said after the match. "I awarded what I saw."

Suspensions of referees are not uncommon in Bulgaria with dozens of officials receiving bans in recent seasons.

CSKA, one of the two most popular clubs in the country alongside Levski Sofia, are fourth in the standings with 29 points from 17 matches. Cherno More are seventh on 26. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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