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Levski Sofia Ultras Force New Coach to Remove Club Shirt At His Own Press Conference [VIDEO]

Ivaylo Petev Levski Sofia Ultras Force New Coach to Remove Club Shirt At His Own Press Conference [VIDEO]

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.

H/T Reuters.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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3 Responses to Levski Sofia Ultras Force New Coach to Remove Club Shirt At His Own Press Conference [VIDEO]

  1. Dean Stell says:

    You know, this stuff would be funny as hell if it weren’t for the lurking specter of real violence. If it was just a situation where the supporters got to decide what items of clothing the manager got to retain, that would be really funny.

    What garments would United supporters have left Moyes with after the loss to West Brom? I think he would have been running out of the press conference in nothing but a jock strap.

  2. LeTiss says:

    Maybe this might seem ” funny as hell” if you were watching it in some farcical movie where everything is make-believe. But, the coercion to coach Petev is that he will be physically assaulted by this mob of thugs if he doesn’t obey.
    It’s the same kind of “fun” a mob would have with tar and feathers in nineteenth century America.

  3. Ivan says:

    This was shameful. What a bunch of thugs!

    Basically, Petev had allegedly said a few years back that he is a supporter of Levski’s bitter rival, CSKA Sofia, and that was the reason as to the ultras not wanting him to lead the club.

    Levski, Bulgaria’s premier football club, has become a laughingstock in recent years. In the most recent Europa League campaign, the team was knocked out by Irtish Pavlodar of Kazakhstan, and since then the team has rotated 4 coaches in a span of 4 months.

    Levski is currently langushing in mid table in the Bulgarian league.

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