European Football - Bulgarians Plovdiv hit by another ban for crowd trouble

Lokomotiv Plovdiv have been ordered to play their next home match at a neutral ground following crowd trouble in the league game against leaders Litex Lovech on Saturday.

The Bulgarian Football Union's disciplinary commission also fined Plovdiv 6,000 levs ($4,200) on Tuesday after fans threw "numerous objects" on the pitch during the ill-tempered match.

Litex earned the honorary title of winter champions after thrashing the 2004 Bulgarian champions 5-2 in a game that saw four players sent off.

Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan grabbed a hat-trick as Litex took their points tally to 50 from 23 matches.

The ban will affect fifth-placed Plovdiv's home match against Chernomorets Burgas on Feb. 26.

Plovdiv have already played two games behind closed doors this season after hooliganism marred matches against newcomers Neftochimik Burgas and CSKA Sofia.

Violence inside and outside stadiums has plagued Bulgarian football in recent seasons, endangering the safety of players and fans.

($1 = 1.4219 Bulgarian levs)