World of Sport

Player faces sack for crying as derby rivals miss out on title

World of Sport

The Sofia derby had more at stake than usual this weekend, as Levski went into it against Slavia needing to win to seal the Bulgarian title.

But 74 minutes into the match an astonishing own goal from Dimitar Vezalov (found at 1:05) in the video above), levelled the score at 1-1 and left Levski dependent on other results.

Ludogorets Razgrad won their game, and took the title with it for a second straight year.

The result clearly devastated Levski players – but it was a Slavia Sofia player who seemed to take it hardest.

In extraordinary claims from the Slavia president, Venteslav Stefanov, the unnamed player broke down in tears in the changing rooms after the result.

“One of our players was crying in the dressing room after Levski failed to win the title,” Stefanov said.

“No doubt, he will not be part of Slavia anymore.”

Stefanov gave a strong hint he was talking about midfielder Dimo Atanasov when revealing the player was a product of local club Pavlikeni's youth academy and reportedly a Levski fan.

The 27-year-old, who has also played for Lokomotiv Sofia, Botev Plovdiv, Lokomotiv Plovdiv and champions Ludogorets in the top flight, was an unused substitute in Saturday's draw.

Slavia, who mark their 100th anniversary this year, assigned bodyguards to goalkeeper Georgi Petkov and coach Velislav Vutsov after they got death threats following the oldest Sofia derby.

Petkov, formerly with Levski, made an outstanding save in the last minute, depriving the home team of their first title since 2009, while Vutsov was Levski coach in 2009.

The pair were called "traitors" by the Levski supporters.

There is no mention of how the supporters responded to Vezalov, whose freak own goal was the final nail in the coffin of their title campaign.


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