SOFIA A Bulgarian court sentenced footballer Borislav Baldzhiyski to four years in prison on Friday for murdering a man who insulted a woman for the way she parked a car the Slavia Sofia midfielder was riding in.
The 25-year-old dealt the victim a fatal hit to the head in the 2013 crime but got a relatively mild sentence after the court described it as "murder by negligence".
Baldzhiyski and another male passenger attacked the 35-year-old victim outside the car after he criticised the way the woman parked it near a casino following a match in Sofia between Serbia's Partizan Belgrade and Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.
Baldzhiyski, a former Bulgarian U-21 international, was charged on the basis of video footage of the incident.
After the attack, the seven-times Bulgarian champions Slavia sacked Baldzhiyski, who initially faced up to 20 years in jail.
Prosecutors had asked for Baldzhiyski to be kept in custody but he continued playing for several Bulgarian clubs and rejoined Slavia in February.
He will now have to pay 100,000 levs ($57,123) to the victim’s relatives as compensation, the court said.
Baldzhiyski can appeal the verdict within 15 days. Slavia, now 10th in the domestic league after six matches, said it would issue a statement after the court’s final verdict.
It added that Baldzhiyski would not be included in the squad for their game against Ludogorets on Saturday.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Tom Heneghan)