Man Utd ace Dimitar Berbatov running for Bulgarian FA president with ex Prem stars Martin and Stiliyan Petrov
12th October 2021

DIMITAR BERBATOV is battling to become the chief of Bulgaria’s Football Association.

And the ex-Manchester United player is being backed ex-Man City and Aston Villa aces Martin and Stiliyan Petrov for the role. 

The former Premier League trio were pictured together in their country’s capital Sofia to back Berbatov's bid to replace Borislav Mihaylov. 

Mihaylov, 58, who is the current Bulgaria FA president, has been in post for the past 16 years. 

The former Uefa executive committee member stepped down from the job after England players were racially abused by fans in Sofia during a Euro 2020 qualifier in October 2019. 

However, the ex-Bulgaria goalkeeper would return to the role a year later. 

Reports say Berbatov, 40, is eager to make ‘radical change’ to his homeland’s FA. 

And he is setting his bid around the aim of tackling scandals and corruption that have overshadowed football in the country in recent years. 

In January 2019 two players from Bulgarian second division Bansko (Lubomir Vitanov and Ivan Topuzov) were charged with match-fixing two games during the 2016-17 season. 

And in May it was reported Bulgarian police are working with sports data firm Sportradar to battle fraud and match-rigging in Bulgaria’s domestic competitions. 

A source close to Berbatov has reportedly told news outlets that the former Tottenham, Man United and Fulham playmaker, is keen on “fighting the system.” 

Berbatov, who won two Prem titles with United, told The Guardian: “It’s time for a radical change – Bulgarian football needs to be fully shaken up.

 “The lack of results, the constant scandals, the suspicions of corruption, the racist incidents in the England game, police entering the FA’s headquarters … all this reflects the level Bulgarian football is currently at. 

“And it just shows how much this radical change is needed. Having said that, I feel ready to take the responsibility for delivering that change.”

The retired forward managed to secure enough votes to force an election this month despite Mihaylov insisting there would be one in February 2022.

And the former Prem ace won a court case brought against him questioning the legitimacy of his votes. 

Berbatov, who netted 94 goals in 224 Prem appearances for Spurs, Man United and Fulham, had 191 clubs backing his emergency election call. 

However, the Bulgarian FA queried the documents of 35 of the clubs backing the former Spurs ace. 

But a court in Sofia ruled in Berbatov’s favour allowing the election taking place today to go ahead. 

Chiefs at clubs in the country will vote on who gets the top job. 


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