Football

Bulgarian defender body-checks referee - handed six-match ban

Alexandrov receives marching orders. (©GettyImages)

Cherno More Varna defender Sasho Alexandrov has been handed a six-game domestic ban for body-checking a referee during his side's 4-0 Bulgarian Cup loss against Levski Sofia on Sunday.

The 26-year-old - who has a reputation for possessing an aggressive on-field manner, and frequently argues with match officials - was sent off in the 74th minute of the weekend clash, after Levski had been awarded a questionable penalty.

At 3-0, the game was already lost, but that didn't stop Alexandrov from embarking on an overly dramatic appeal.

Sprinting towards referee Stefan Spasov, the furious right-back jumped straight into the onrushing official, knocking him off his feet at onto the floor.

Spasov wasted no time in showing the offender a straight red card, with the Bulgarian football union adding insult to injury by extending the player's ban and fining him 2,500 levs, which equates to just over £1,000.

Speaking to local media after the game, Alexandrov made a full and unreserved apology for his actions, saying: "I apologise to the referee, it was not on purpose. I was ashamed when he fell."

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