Crowds of Football Fans Protest Urging Bulgaria Govt to Help Their Team
At least 2000 supporters of Bulgaria's CSKA football club on took to the streets of downtown Sofia on Sunday to protest against what they describe as unfair policies applied to the team.
Gathering for a rally which finished in front of Parliament, they called on the government to extend a hand to their team which has been in a dire financial situation after being officially declared insolvent.
The team's financial situation has been subject to many questions over the past years, with this year's insolvency and long-standing debts preventing it from playing in the domestic A group and European tournaments.
Plamen Markov, CEO at CSKA and a former national coach, also took part in the rally. In front of Parliament he declared that it was unclear why the national football body had granted a license to CSKA all those years despite its debt problem.
Earlier, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had met with representatives of CSKA fans to discuss the situation.
"I told them I can help with whatever they want. But I can't pay their taxes. I can't write them off. If there were a loophole in the law, I would have used it and paid. But it can't happen, tax [obligations] are in force until death," the website Dnevnik.bg quoted him as saying.
Prior to the demonstration, fans "reenacted" at their team's official stadium in Sofia a match against the Vitosha Bistritsa football club that failed to take place.
Vitosha Bistritsa FC refused to play and this awarded three points to CSKA, with the former team's coach telling media he feared the match could become "politicized" and followed by unrest.
It is Vitosha Bistritsa where Borisov was a registered player some years ago.
The team was also embroiled in a scandal in 2012 for having used a government plane.
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