Are CSKA Sofia the most dysfunctional club in Europe?
Bulgarian side lurch from one disaster to another. Latest: player kidnaps TV star. Really.
For the past year or so, rumours have been circulating Manchester City are preparing to star in their own reality TV show. However, the chancing bigwigs at production company Endemol might want to hold fire before signing a deal with the petro-dollar powered Mancunians. Based on the past week’s events, it seems Bulgarian top flight side CSKA Sofia have enough entertaining material for at least three series, a Christmas episode and a come-back special…
The story begins at the start of the month, when CSKA’s local paper, The Sofia Echo, ran an expose on the club’s fantastically decrepit stadium, revealing the ground is so old it’s been deemed unsafe to operate at full capacity.
Five days later, Cameroon international goalkeeper Daniel Bekono was fired from the club due to ‘disciplinary offences’ after skipping one too many training sessions.
Then on Sunday, a match against Lokomotiv Mezdra was abandoned after 65 minutes, when 100 CSKA fans rushed the pitch throwing stones and whatever else they could get their hands on after going 1-0 down.
The next day the team was slapped with a three-match stadium ban and a fine of $10,000, while Mezdra, despite failing to pay police to supervise the game, were only handed a one-match penalty.
On Tuesday the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) decided to tack on an extra three goals to CSKA’s misery, awarding Mezdra a 4-0 win.
A day later, 21-year-old forward Orlin Orlinov was arrested by police for kidnapping and assaulting Bulgarian reality TV star Katherine Vacheva, leaving her with a broken nose, concussion and ‘brain injuries’. She told police:
“He dragged me for a few metres, there was a trail of blood. He said – you are a beautiful woman, and all beautiful women deserve to be beaten”
Good grief. And there’s more.
Later that afternoon, CSKA president Dimitar Borisov went to the papers threatening to pull his team out of the league, after manager Ioan Andone announced he was ready to leave the club over the ‘unjust’ BFU ban.
And it’s not over yet. 1,400 police officers are being stationed in downtown Sofia tomorrow, in anticipation for the derby match between CSKA and league champions Levski Sofia.
Considering previous meetings between the two have resulted in a fan getting blown up by a bomb, The Spoiler has a feeling CSKA’s worst week is set to continue.