Bulgaria's Vasil Bozhikov (down) in action against France's Dimitri Payet (top) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, 7 October 2017. Photo: EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV
"I stand behind my words that my wish is to watch Bulgaria with Bulgarian players," Ivanov said on Wednesday after facing critical reactions in sports and social media.
A jail term of up to 23 years has been requested for the assailant involved in the tragic incident of last November's İzmir derby for throwing a signal flare.
The derby between the western province of İzmir's rivals, Göztepe and Altay, was suspended when a signal flare was thrown by Altay fan Furkan Ersanlı at the Göztepe stand, injuring a man and two children.
PAOK outplayed Panathinaikos in Sunday's crunch game to force the Greens' first home loss and throw the Super League wide open, as AEK has closed the gap from the top to a single point.
Four days after beating the Greens in Thessaloniki 2-0 for the Cup, PAOK went one better in Athens on Sunday night as it eclipsed the league leader with a 3-0 result.