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Bulgaria's Plovdiv derby marred by mass brawl

A mass brawl involving players and coaching staff marred Botev Plovdiv's 1-0 home win over city rivals Lokomotiv in the Bulgarian league.

Seconds after the final whistle on Saturday, players and staff from both benches aimed kicks and punches at each other while fans invaded the pitch and all kinds of objects were thrown on to the field.

Lokomotiv midfielder Dani Kiki took a flag from some visiting fans and tried to place it in the centre circle. More violence then followed involving players, team officials and fans. Police said they detained 10 fans for hooliganism while television pictures showed a policeman being hit by a stone thrown from the stands.

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.

Lokomotiv management said in a statement several hours after the match that it "strongly denounced the unsporting behaviour after the end of the match", adding that Loko players involved in the incidents would be punished.

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