Georgi Ivanov, the technical director of the Bulgarian Football Union, is under fire after commenting that no players of “other skin color” should play for the Bulgarian national team.
Ivanov defended his racist comments.
“I stand behind my words that my wish is to watch Bulgaria with Bulgarian players,” Ivanov said, per Balkan Insight. “As long as I’m director, a foreign player with a foreign passport or other skin color won’t play. I don’t want players from other countries to replace Bulgarian ones. Some countries might do this but this to me is a faulty practice.”
Levski Sofia—the club Ivanov played for in multiple stints between 1997 and 2009 and for which he later served as manager—put out a statement denouncing his comments on the team website. “Levski PFC does not accept racism and discrimination in any form,” the club said, per The Sofia Globe.
Ivanov retired in 2009 after being one of the top scorers for Levski Sofia in the early aughts. He’s been building a career as an executive in the sport ever since.