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Mobbed Levski coach quits

10 October 2013-PA Sport

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 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 rival 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 between club officials, including Batkov, and representatives of organised fan groups to address the "temporary misunderstandings that led to yesterday's events".

After the meeting the club announced on its official website the new coaching 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.

Levski lies sixth in the table and plays CSKA in the next league match on October 19.

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