Berbatov, Stoichkov Snub Bulgaria-Italy World Cup QualifierSports | September 7, 2012, Friday // 11:23| views
The two all-time megastars of Bulgarian football, Hristo Stoichkov (r) and Dimitar Berbatov (l) have always been on friendly terms. Photo by Zassada.bg
The two all-time megastars of Bulgarian football, Hristo Stoychkov and Dimitar Berbatov, will not attend the Friday faceoff between Bulgaria and Italy.
The game, which will begin at 9:45 pm at the National "Vassil Levski" stadium in the capital Sofia, is the first one for the two teams in the qualifier for World Cup 2016 in Brazil. It is also the debut of Lyuboslav Penev as coach of the Bulgarian national football team.
According to Standard daily, Berbatov, who recently joined the UK Fulham amidst much controversy and a scandal in Italy and declined playing for Bulgaria Friday evening, had said he would rather watch the match on TV with friends.
Stoichkov will not attend over his fierce criticism of the Head of the Bulgarian Football Federation, Borislav Mihaylov.
Standard writes that both Berbatov and Stoichkov have excellent relations with Penev.
The article further highlights Penev doing miracles with the mindsets of his players, who during the Wednesday briefing, appeared self-confident they can score a victory.
190 policemen will guard the stadium tonight. Three Italian police officers are also in Sofia on the invitation of the Sofia Directorate of the Interior Ministry and the Main Directorate National Police. They will coordinate with Bulgarian counterparts the security of the game.
The Sofia City Hall is extending the running of public transportation while the Evlogi Georgiev and Gurko boulevards near the stadium will be closed for all traffic, except public transportation vehicles.
The police call on all ticket holders to come early in order to have time to undergo the security checks. People under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs or in possession of them will not be allowed. Pyrotechnics are also banned.
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