The blackest day for Bulgarian football, which could have been avoided

November 16, 2023 will go down in history as the blackest day in the history of Bulgarian football. No loss over the years, however heavy and humiliating it may have been, can be compared to the tragic scenes that unfolded in front of the Vasil Levski National Stadium before and during the match between Bulgaria and Hungary.

Bloody heads, wounded police, water cannons in action, buckets on fire, smashed cars, pepper spray, broken shop windows, detained protesters. What does this have to do with football? And the more important question – why was it not avoided? And it could have been avoided in a very easy way - if the BFS managers had opened their eyes to the truth and understood that they had already crossed the line so much, they were so strongly unwanted and even hated that it was only a matter of time before such extreme cases.

In October, BFS vice-president Yordan Lechkov asked "Who wants our resignation?" Days later, he was greeted with insults and cries of "Resignation" in his native Sliven. This brazenness and brazenness only increased the tension to reach the battle scenes in the center of Sofia on Thursday evening.

Even leaving aside the collapse of Bulgarian football in the 1810s under the management of Borislav Mihailov and company, even if these people really believe that they are doing a good job and deserve to continue leading BFS, real leaders are obliged to avoid such a catastrophe. even if they themselves pay the price for it. Mihailov's resignation would have prevented dozens of protesters and police officers from being injured, and it is still unclear whether there were any serious injuries.

Of course, nothing justifies the aggressive behavior of the protesters - throwing torches, bombs, cobblestones, stakes, burning buckets and smashing cars. This is unacceptable and the provocateurs bear their responsibility for what happened.

But the greater responsibility lies with those who know what will happen, can prevent it with a simple action, but do not do it. Is Mihailov so out of touch with reality that he is ready to watch Sofia turn into a battlefield, but not to retreat?

On November 17, 1993, Mihailov, Emil Kostadinov and Lechkov were the main actors in the miracle of Parc des Princes, which gave rise to the greatest moments in the history of Bulgarian football. Exactly 30 years later, they are responsible for the most infamous moment, which unfortunately will never be erased.

Now the resignation of the leadership of the BFS seems imminent, but could it not come before it comes to this? /BGNES


Radoslav Petkashev, Sports Department of BGNES.