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Bulgaria to sack coach Penev after poor run - reports

17 November 2014, 15:55

Sofia - Bulgaria are set to sack coach Luboslav Penev after their poor run in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign continued on Sunday with a 1-1 home draw against minnows Malta, local media reported on Monday.

The result left Bulgaria fourth in Group H with four points from as many matches, five points behind Norway and six behind Croatia and Italy.

Several Bulgarian newspapers and websites reported that former striker Penev had lost the support of the Bulgarian Football Union's executive committee members.

Penev, one of the Balkan country's soccer icons, has been under the spotlight after his side were beaten by Croatia and Norway last month but received the backing of Bulgaria's soccer authorities at a meeting on Oct. 28.

"I think the blame lies with the coach," champions Ludogorets owner Kiril Domuschiev, seen as one of the most influential figures in the BFU's executive committee, told reporters after the Malta draw.

Also read: 'Little country' Wales keeping feet on ground

"My opinion at the last executive committee was that the coach should be replaced. You see that I was right..."

The BFU declined to comment on the reports.

Penev also hinted he could quit, saying "there'll be a general change" without giving more details.

Penev, 48, was appointed Bulgaria coach in November 2011, replacing German Lothar Matthaeus, whose contract was not renewed following a dismal Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Bulgaria failed to qualify for a major tournament since the 2004 European championship in Portugal.

Former Atletico Madrid and Valencia striker Penev, who led Litex Lovech to the Bulgarian league title in 2011, is known for his hard-line approach to discipline and bringing through young players.

- Reuters


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