Bulgarian Socialite, Athlete 'Bateto' Died from Embolism

Society | May 2, 2011, Monday // 10:16|  views

Prominent Bulgarian sports and social figure Ivan "Bateto" Slavkov, was known for his sense of humor, and rumored to be a great partygoer, womanizer and drinker. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgarian athlete and socialite figure Ivan Slavkov, aka Bateto (Big Brother) has died from pulmonary virus and embolism 10 days before his 71st anniversary.

The farewell ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, May 5, in front of one of Slavkov's most favorite spots in Sofia – the National "Vasil Levski" Stadium. Crowds of people, both officials and common citizens, are expected to arrive to pay their last respects.

As soon as the news about him passing away broke, scores of neighbors, friends, relatives and citizens started leaving flowers in front of Bateto's home.

The funeral is also expected to bring together the entire football elite of Bulgaria. When Slavkov was leading the Bulgarian Football Union, the national team qualified twice for the European Championship – in 1996 in the UK, and in 2004 – in Portugal, and once for the World Cup – in France in 1998.

Doctors, cited by the Bulgarian daily "24 Chasa" (24 Hours), inform the family has declined autopsy, and wish that details about Slavkov's medical condition are not disclosed to the public. Doctors only confirm a pulmonary problem.

Bateto was listed in the hospital on March 30 and his condition had deteriorated non-stop without any hope for cure. He had been pronounced death a little bit after 1 pm Sunday.

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Tags: Ivan Slavkov, Levski, stadium, sofia, Bulgarian Football Union, Bateto, embolism, pulmonary, problem, farewell


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