CSKA Sofia surged eight points
clear at the top of the Bulgarian league on Sunday as the
country paid tribute to national team captain Stiliyan Petrov
who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia during the week.
CSKA, Petrov's first club, beat third from bottom
Vidima-Rakovski Sevlievo 1-0 to move on to 54 points from 22
matches. Second-placed Chernomorets Burga visit Slavia Sofia on
The crowd applauded in the 19th minute in Sevlievo to
commemorate Petrov's shirt number at his English Premier League
club Aston Villa.
All the teams in Bulgaria expressed their support for the
player in various ways at their weekend matches.
Villa fans also applauded Petrov in the 19th minute as the
midfielder watched his side lose 4-2 at home to Chelsea on
CSKA and Vidima-Rakovski players wore T-shirts sporting his
name and with the message "We are with you" during the warmup.
Petrov, 32, played for CSKA between 1996-99 and was
instrumental in helping the Reds win the league in 1997 and the
Bulgarian Cup in 1997 and 1999.
CSKA, 31-times champions, are chasing their first league
title since 2008.
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