Levski Sofia coach Petev quits club after fan altercation

The Levski Sofia coach who was stripped of his shirt by angry fans in his first news conference has quit the Bulgarian club a day after being appointed.

Ivaylo Petev, 38, left on Wednesday after what he described as an "ugly" encounter the previous day.

Levski fans were protesting at Petev's reported allegiance with arch city rival CSKA Sofia.

"What happened yesterday is extremely ugly and I would not like to work in such an environment," Petev said.

Baptism of fire

Petev's replacement, Antoni Zdravkov, will now make his debut in the much-anticipated "eternal derby" - against CSKA Sofia on 19 October

Petev, considered one of the best young coaches in Bulgaria after leading Ludogorets to back-to-back league titles, continued: "I considered many things and I also discussed it with my family.

"I wanted to work at Levski but I didn't expect that such a thing could happen in the 21st century.

"This is something abnormal. I'm not a criminal, I'm not a thief, but yesterday I felt exactly like that."

Levski fans burst in shortly after the start of Petev's presentation to the media on Tuesday and made him take off the club's shirt before showing him the exit.

The supporters were condemned in local media for "writing the most shameful page in the club's history" but remained adamant they would not allow Petev to keep his post.

Earlier this year, Petev was quoted by local media saying he was a CSKA fan, but he denied this was the case.

"I did not say that," he said. "I have no sympathy to another Sofia club."

Levski reacted quickly and named former Levski defender Antoni Zdravkov as Petev's successor - their fifth appointment this year.

"The team will be coached by Antoni Zdravkov until the end of the year, at least," Levski owner Todor Batkov said.

Levski, who have won the Bulgarian championship 26 times, are sixth with 19 points, nine behind leaders Ludogorets.