European Football - Bulgarian keeper apologises for hitting team-mate during match

Pirin Gotse Delchev's goalkeeper Abdi Abdikov has apologised after being handed a four-match ban by the Bulgarian FA for hitting a team-mate during a league match.

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The 29-year-old stopper was sent off for hitting defender Atanas Fidanin midway through the first half of a 5-1 loss at Cherno More Varna on Sunday, the incident apparently sparked by a row over who was to blame for conceding a goal.

"I accept the punishment," Abdikov, who was also fined 1,000 levs (£430) by a disciplinary commission, told local media.

"I fully realise my mistake and I want to apologise to our fans and people that witnessed this ugly scene.

"I demanded an explanation from Nasko (Atanas), he replied loudly and I just could not resist..."

Fidanin said he had accepted his team-mate's apology.

"There was a tension between me and Abdi after the first Cherno More goal as he thought it was my fault," said Fidanin.

"There were some sparks and he hit me, that was it. He apologised, we shook hands and now we're going forward."

Pirin, who were promoted to the top flight for the first time last year, are 10th in the standings with 27 points from 24 matches, six points above the relegation zone.

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