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Fed-up fans demand their Bulgarian team move to FYR Macedonia

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Fed-up fans demand their Bulgarian team move to FYR Macedonia

Fed-up fans demand their Bulgarian team move to FYR Macedonia
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Михал Орела (Flickr: Благоевград)
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Football fans in Bulgaria are so fed-up with their team's fortunes they have asked if the club can play in neighbouring FYR Macedonia.

Supporters of Pirin Blagoevgrad — famous for developing talent such as ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov — were relegated from Bulgaria’s top flight on Monday after a hotly-disputed goal condemned them to a 2-1 home defeat.

Vitosha Bistritsa's Grigor Dolapchiev was flagged offside by the linesman but the referee waved play on and the striker took advantage to score his side's second goal.

"Dear leaders of Macedonian football, we the supporters of Pirin Blagoevgrad, urge you to accept Pirin in the Macedonian football championship as of next season,” supporters wrote in a request to the Macedonian Football Federation, adding they would accept a place in any division.

Pirin and the club's followers have complained of unfair treatment by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) and referees on several occasions during the season.

"In the last 20 years Pirin have been deliberately subjected to repression by the BFU,” the fans' letter said.

The club, who play in a town 20 kilometres from the Macedonian border, have reached the Bulgarian Cup final four times and competed in UEFA's European competitions.

But in 2011 Pirin were expelled from Bulgaria’s top flight over unpaid debts and six years earlier were kicked out because of unpaid taxes.

Neither Pirin or BFU was immediately available for comment.