The Minister of Youth and Sports, Dimitar Iliev, commented on the upcoming protest that will be held today against BFS and the closed doors, during which the European qualification between Bulgaria and Hungary will be played at the national stadium “Vasil Levski”. “The most normal thing is when the people don’t want you is to leave, because they are there for the people. This is what the people want,” Iliev said on bTV on the occasion of the management of the BFS.
“I will watch the game, but I will not be at the stadium. From a moral point of view, it’s not OK for me to show up inside, and for the fans not to. People had to watch the match from inside. If someone is protesting something, they most likely have a right to protest. If we close the doors today, what will we do next game? Will people stop protesting? I doubt.
It is very important for the BFS to give a clear account of why we got here,” said Iliev.
“What I understand from the statements of the BFS is that they are hiding behind UEFA and SDVR. Yesterday it became clear that SDVR never said that the match could not be held with an audience and never refused to guard the match. We need to see the other side as well. This hiding behind UEFA’s decision whether it was provoked by the BFS with prior correspondence with them.”
“The BFS organizes and administers football in Bulgaria. The biggest moral damage is on people. The stands are built to be full, not to keep them empty.”
“I think when people make their wishes clear, there’s nothing wrong with giving up and giving a chance to someone who might do better. I think that’s the right thing to do.”
“There are very clear rules where the Ministry of Youth and Sports can revoke the license of a federation. In history, there have been such interventions by other ministers in other sports.
Every attempt by the state to interfere in a sports federation has not ended well. If we take the BFS licence, what would that lead to?’
“We have a clear position. We are categorically against closing the stadium. It’s closed, but that’s not up to us.”
“I have no right to demand the resignation of any federation president.”
“The most normal thing is when the people don’t want you is to leave, because they are there for the people. That’s what people want. The point of their existence is to have football, good football, to make people happy. Given that they are shutting down clubs and closing stadiums… I don’t know how much their existence makes sense with this type of behavior and management. But it is not within my prerogative to ask for such a thing. As a citizen, I have a very strong position on this matter. If I wasn’t the minister of sports, I would have asked for sure, I would have joined the protest.”
“We had a very emotional meeting with many clubs. The football community must lead its own business. We are not a ministry of football, but of youth and sports. I have always obeyed the law. Good or bad they must be respected. I believe that a society is strengthened when the rules in it are respected.”
“When I started working, I invited all the presidents of federations, including him I met. Since then we have not seen each other, we have heard each other on the phone. I told him, with what mind do you stop people from entering the stadium. He replied: “UEFA ordered me, this is an order from UEFA, etc.”
“I think this is a good initiative of the parliament, that Borislav Mihailov should be heard and he should give a lot of answers.”
“I heard that Orbán will be at the stadium. I have no confirmation. It kills the social element of the sport. It is absurd to ban fans from supporting their favorite team. It seems to me a shame and a failure, an absurdity that should not be allowed. It was provoked only and only because someone is afraid that they will be asked to resign.”
“I believe our guys will do well in this game.”
“What happened around the Bulgaria-Hungary match is not a reason to revoke the license of the BFS. The exclusion of clubs is also not a reason to revoke the license of the BFS”, concluded Dimitar Iliev.
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