“What cycle? Ah, qualifying, okay. We start directly and are first in the group on the first cycle. Is that OK?”
The quote, of course, is from Borislav Mihailov after the 4-3 win against Luxembourg at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in 2016 in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Russia.
Then, unlike in recent years, the president of the Bulgarian Football Union was still speaking to the media. And, somehow, he kept on his feet without help.
Not so much for a while now. Like our football, Mikhailov is also limping, but he does not bring intoxication to the masses of fans, but only to his leaders.
A whole seven years have passed since that iconic line of Bobby, smiling slightly inappropriately in the face of a reporter. Recently, the behavior of the upper floors of the BFS has been openly defined as inadequate, but the truth is that they have always tried to fool us with the same repertoire.
“These are our footballers. We have to give these young guys a chance, there were a lot of debutants”then answered a question about why our national team conceded so many goals in recent matches and what he thought about the “Resignation” chanted in the stands.
Mihailov’s answer was again prepared in advance – he did not pay attention to the chants, the important thing was that soon the BFS will open “the best base in Europe”.
“There is no such thing anywhere else,” the president boasted at the time. Subsequently, it turned out that Mihailov entrusted his son with managing the restaurant at the base in Boyana.
There really is no other base like it.
Cycle after cycle the events repeated themselves. Our team was getting weaker and weaker, the coaches, the clubs, the players, the fans, the state and the competitors for the top spot in the BFS were always responsible. Nikola football union.
The insolence and insolence reached such proportions that the BFS (via UEFA) kicked the fans out of the stadium. There was an unprecedented unification of Levski and CSKA fans, of Botev and Loko, of all the other factions that came from the country and stood side by side with those of the so-called giants.
Insolence and insolence that have risen to the institutional level. The Ministry of the Interior lied that the police aggression was provoked by clashes between fans of CSKA and Levski.
Insolence and recklessness that culminated in the middle finger that Emil Kostadinov showed exactly 30 years after his heroic goal at the Parc des Princes. He showed it to the people to whom he owes everything – the fans and the journalists. Because if it weren’t for them, if it weren’t for us – the ones who give money to soccer, live for it and glorify its heroes, the USA ’94 team would be just an ordinary working group.
The disrespect is complete. Sloth is everywhere. Nepotism and servitude, clinging tooth and nail to power and the willingness to hold onto it at any cost are revered.
In the 18 years of Bobby Mihailov’s presidency, the national team failed to qualify for a single major championship, and in the last qualifying cycle (the former goalkeeper’s favorite phrase) we set a new record – Bulgaria for the first time in its history did not beat a single opponent in qualifying group for the European Championship.
Meanwhile our clubs are languishing, more of them kept as members of the BFS just because of their Congress votes. The refereeing is arranged according to the powers of the day, who in the last dozen years have totally displaced “reds” and “blues” from this position.
But even at the end of the longest tunnel there is light.
In the last two matches, Ilian Iliev showed that the sun can rise again for our national team. The same can happen to our football, in general, if Mihailov shows his great morals, which he boasted about after the interrogation at the prosecutor’s office on Friday.
This week, Mihailov and his wards are expected to finally leave the football union. There has already been talk of scheduling a new electoral Congress.
There have been speculations that the current rulers are preparing to retain power, preparing Georgi Ivanov for the new president. However, Gonzo will have to win them over if he wants to rule like any other candidate.
And here comes the role of the clubs, who are obliged to prove that they really want change. They will be the ones who will choose the new president and will have to answer to their fans for their choice. In front of these same fans who were ready to shed blood to get football back.
Meanwhile, we sent another disappointing cycle. Bulgaria remained last in its group for Euro 2024. The cycle has ended for Mihailov and his entourage, who for the past 18 years have destroyed everything positive about their images and turned from one of the most loved people in the country into one of the most hated.
As his former teammate in Levski and the national team, Nasko Sirakov, advised him: “Brother, resign. Let them remember you with something good.”
We all join this call. Do it, Bobby. As a final.