Levski boss quits after attack

Levski Sofia's new coach Ivaylo Petev has resigned a day after he was attacked at his unveiling by angry fans.

Last Updated: 09/10/13 at 19:37 Post Comment

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Ivaylo Petev: Resigned as Levski Sofia c

Ivaylo Petev: Resigned as Levski Sofia c

Levski Sofia's new coach Ivaylo Petev has resigned, a day after he was attacked at his unveiling by angry fans who pulled off his club kit and forced him out of the room.

Petev claimed that he was made to feel like a criminal and had made the decision after talking with his family.

The extraordinary events unfolded on Tuesday when the 38-year-old's unveiling was disrupted by a group of hostile fans opposed to his appointment, reportedly because they believe he is a fan of bitter rivals CSKA Sofia.

The fans pulled his training top off and then his club shirt before he was forced, naked from the waist up, out of the room.

"I thought over things a lot, listened to the opinions of my family, which is important," Petev said in an interview with Bulgarian broadcaster TV7.

"I'm not a criminal, I'm not a thief, but yesterday I felt exactly like that. What did I do to deserve this?"

Owner Todor Batkov had accused the ultras of disgracing the Bulgarian club and insisted the club would "not surrender".

But the club confirmed a meeting was held on Wednesday between club officials, including Batkov, and representatives of organised fan groups to address the "temporary misunderstandings that led to yesterday's events".

Following the meeting the club announced on their official website the new coaching team who would lead the team for the remainder of the season.

Batkov said: "He (Petev) called me and told me that in this situation he refused to take charge of Levski."

"He did not deserve to be welcomed like this," added Batkov, who said the meeting on Wednesday "passed in a spirit of extreme candour".

Antoni Zdravkov, Elin Topuzakov and Marian Hristov have been put in charge of the side.

The club announced a press conference for Thursday at 1pm local time, with Batkov and national fan club spokesman Dimitar Baylov.

Batkov's initial reaction to the events at the press conference was one of real anger.

Revealing the club would stand by Petev, he said: "What happened is a disgrace. The case is unprecedented. This is a stain on the club."

Batkov confirmed at the same time that technical director Nasko Sirakov and chairman of the board Ivo Tonev had resigned over the incident.

Sirakov, who is the club's all-time leading scorer having netted 206 goals between 1981 and 1994, said: "What happened is unmatched in the European and world football. This is not my Levski and it's not our fans.

"It's a shame and a disgrace to the name of the club."

Tonev said that what happened at the presentation was "a humiliation for the club".

Levski lie sixth in the table and play CSKA in their next league match on October 19.


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