Банкеръ Weekly



The Executive Director of the Bulgarian Football Union Ivan Voutsov held this week inofficial talks with Stoicho Mladenov and and Dimitar Alexiev - coaches of the national men's and youths' soccer teams. He was expected to persuade them hand in quietly their resignations after the catastrophic Prague autumn for the Bulgarian football. However, either Mr. Voustov failed to fulfill his delicate mission, or the two could not understand him. There were no resignations. We even learned from Mr. Alexiev that his flock had not at all played bad, while Mr. Mladenov snapped that he would talk when he's ready with his report.Mr. Alexiev tried to back out by the thesis that the aim, proclaimed prior the qualifications, was to prepare players for the men's national team, and only afterwrds to pursue a place in the European championship. Well, how many football players did he prepare for that team? Were they five, as he claims? Only one of his players was included by his colleague Mladenov in the team for the match in Prague - the back Zhivko Zhelev - who, however, was all the time wondering where he was. So was the audience. If Mr. Alexiev has overfulfilled his plan for supplying players to the national men's team, let him get his award and leave.Moreover, can the team's failure be so audaciously extenuated by the fact that the Bulgarian youths were younger than their rivals? Who else if not Alexiev made the strategic choice? Mr. Mladenov, on his part, did not have the task to supply players to any team. All he had to do was take the Bulgarian national team to the World Football Championship. He failed and there is nothing strange about it. Our expectations of playing at the planet's championship in 2002 were not great, especially after things came to the decisive match in Prague, and after everybody already knows that God is sick and tired of being a Bulgarian. The offensive fact is that the Bulgarian national team suffered a huge loss as if the Czechs were playing against a girls' team.

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