Angry Levski Sofia supporters forced new manager Ivaylo Petev to remove his club’s shirt at a press conference today because they believe he’s a supporter of their rival CSKA Sofia.
The press conference started like any other with a room full of journalists, photographers and cameramen preparing to hear newly appointed manager Petev answer questions. However, approximately 20 ultras from Levski Sofia — some of them wearing hoodies — walked into the press conference and encircled Ivaylo Petev and two club officials. With no security present, the ultras were able to intimidate and threaten Petev, who replaces Slavisa Jokanovic, their Serb coach who was fired earlier today.
According to Reuters, the ultras told Petev:
“You’re not welcome here. Get up, undress the shirt and go. Levski will not play under you as coach.”
The supporters who were in the room forced Petev to remove his club shirt as well as his undershirt. Petev then walked out of the press conference room. The ultras then confronted club chief executive Nasko Sirakov, who immediately announced his resignation.
Levski owner Todor Batkov labeled the incident as a “disgrace”.
“It’a stain on our club, this is unprecedented… But we stand behind our decision – Ivaylo Petev is the new coach of Levski.”
Ivaylo Petev is considered to be one of the best young coaches in the Balkans. His appointment at Levski makes him the fourth coach who has been appointed at the club this year.
Despite the unbelievable scenes, you have to feel sorry for Petev regarding the way he was treated by the supporters, if you can even call them that. Levski’s owner should be ashamed that there was no security at the press conference. And he should do something to remove the ultras from his club, who are giving Levski Sofia a bad name.
Here’s the first part of the press conference. The incident happens beginning at minute 2:30:
And here’s a different camera angle of the incidents:
As a side note, Levski Sofia was named in 2009 as the worst club in the history of the UEFA Champions League.