CSKA Sofia boss ‘knocked unconscious’ by snowball

Matches between Levski and CSKA are highly-charged affairs. Picture: Getty
Matches between Levski and CSKA are highly-charged affairs. Picture: Getty
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CSKA SOFIA coach Stoycho Mladenov has claimed he was knocked unconscious by a snowball thrown from rival supporters during a match.

But angry Levski Sofia fans say the manager of their fierce rivals exaggerated his injury.

Mladenov collapsed during the early stages of CSKA’s 3-0 win in the fierce ‘Eternal Derby of Bulgaria’ clash, later insisting he had lost consciousness.

Vladimir Vladimirov, chief of Levski’s national fan club, claimed that Mladenov’s ‘over-acting was poor’, adding that he didn’t know of anyone who had collapsed after being hit by a snowball.

The CSKA boss said he had a medical certificate to back up his story, and would show it to the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) if requested.

His assistant, Anatoli Nankov, said: “[Levski fans] began to throw snowballs at us from the start of the game. We informed the fourth official but he said that their behaviour was normal.”

Following CSKA’s third goal, Levski fans were blocked from getting onto the pitch by more than 100 police officers.

The BFU’s disciplinary committee confirmed they would be discussing the snowball incident this week.

CSKA and Levski have been bitter rivals since the first ‘Eternal Derby’ in May 1948, which finished 1-0 to Levski but CSKA have enjoyed the majority of wins in the last few years.

The Reds have former Hearts midfielder Denis Prychynenko and ex-Hibs goalkeeper Jakub Divis in their squad.