Shocking scenes from Bulgaria, where last weekend’s Plovdiv derby ended disgracefully as a mass brawl involving players and coaching staff marred Botev 1-nil home win over city rivals Lokomotiv.
Seconds after the final whistle on Saturday all hell broke loose as players and staff from both benches began punching and kicking lumps out of each other, and it wasn’t long before rival fans invaded the pitch as the violence became even more grave.
One of the most bizarre scenes amid the mayhem saw Lokomotiv midfielder Dani Kiki attempt to plant his team’s flag in the centre-circle of their arch-enemy. As may have been expected, that hardly went down well with the locals with fans immediately setting upon the footballer as yet another beating was handed out on the field.
The trouble was not confined to the pitch either, with fans setting alight fires across the stadium which forced firefighters into action.
The trouble came days after Lokomotiv were ordered by the Bulgarian Football Union to play their next home match at a neutral venue after fan violence disrupted their 2-1 defeat by Sliven last Saturday. The penalty will be served next weekend when the 2004 Bulgarian champions host Minyor Pernik.