The president of the BFS – Borislav Mihailov, gave an interview to Gong.bg, in which he talks about all current topics in Bulgarian football. Mihailov believes that Bulgaria can walk the path to qualifying for UEFA EURO 2024 step by step.
The USA 94 hero also stated, the BFS considers all its members as they build the union and headquarters works for them. However, according to Mihailov, this in no way means that the BFS bends down to anyone, especially when it comes to threats and threats for disobedience and non-compliance with the rules.
He also commented on Levski’s declaration, saying that the case with the “blues” is offensive to him personally, as this is his hometown club, the club of his father, his son, his brother.
Mihailov also affected the performance of the national team, which was up to par in the last two matches. The head of the BFS said that Krstaich’s handwriting is visible and that he is hopeful for the future. Mihailov also commented on the work of the chairman of the SC Viktor Kasai.
For Dimitar Berbatov, he was categorical that it is frivolous to comment on individuals who first proclaim themselves as candidates outside of a campaign, then as presidents, and who constantly spew lies and slander to protect their personal ambitions.
Finally, Mihailov revealed that since 2018 alone, the BFS has implemented and is working on a total of over 25 sites, and the funding is from UEFA and FIFA programs, which the headquarters won. These are projects whose aim is to promote the game throughout the country, to give children the opportunity to train and play in perfect conditions, to relieve local clubs
– Mr. Mihailov, a few days ago you announced on social networks that you want from the national team “spirit, will and results that will bring us back to a major championship”. Are we to understand that you are hopeful about the draw?
– As I emphasized back then, the draw is the only thing in football that does not depend on the efforts of a given team – everything else is a matter of class, motivation, style. So I recommend not swinging to extremes after draws – I would have reasoned the same regardless of which of the other groups we had fallen into. Of course, we cannot ignore the lack of prominent superpowers in our group, but what gives me hope is what our national team has shown in the last two games. It is too early to claim that Mladen Krastaic’s handwriting is clearly visible; however, I am convinced that we have made a good decision and are moving in the right direction.
– Krastaich and Georgi Ivanov were moderate in their statements after the draw – has the BFS management set a goal for the team for the next qualifiers?
– The goal is self-explanatory. I believe that with sufficient concentration against each subsequent opponent step by step we can walk the path to the rankings. Naturally, the fact that our coach was in charge of Serbia until recently and knows the rivals from the region also helps. The most important thing is that once and for all, Bulgaria stops worrying about one or another opponent, and shows its own style – we adopted this as a policy in our new strategy, and we try to enforce it as much as possible.
– Along with the positive performance of the national team, however, serious tension was created in the Bulgarian championship – Levski even came out with a statement in which he practically removed his trust from you…
– You know, at first I thought it was a joke. This statement was not signed by a specific person in Levski’s management, be it owner, president, executive director or head coach. For me, such actions only destabilize our football – today Levski decides that he will not comply with a given punishment, tomorrow it may be someone else. We have no right to allow such an alarming precedent – after all, the BFS is a regulatory body, and its members participating in championships and tournaments must comply with regulations and rules. Moreover, aggression in the stadium is something very dangerous, which should in no case be taken lightly, neglected, or at the very least encouraged.
– However, many people interpreted the decision of the Appellate Commission to mitigate Levski’s punishment as a sign of weakness or even fear on the part of the BFS after the declaration…
– See – the commissions at the BFS are completely independent and are composed of outstanding experts in the respective fields; people with enormous experience and public authority, with serious positions outside of football. In this sense, it cannot be considered that I or anyone from the management of the BFS influences or can influence these individuals and their decisions.
– That is, the BFS is not afraid of Levski’s threats?
– The BFS takes into account all its members, since they build the union, and we work for them. However, this in no way means that the BFS bends down to anyone, especially when it comes to threats and threats for disobedience and non-compliance with the rules. It should be clear to everyone that we follow our statutes and regulatory documents – this will be the case in the future, they have always been valid and are valid for everyone.
– Still, isn’t there bitterness left in you after Levski’s reaction?
– I have been in charge of football in the country for a long time, I am responsible for all the clubs and I have done everything in my power to help and solve their problems. I am overwhelmed and know that there is no good that goes unpunished. However, the Levski case is offensive to me personally, as this is my hometown club, this is the club of my father, my son, my brother. That concludes the topic.
– Levski’s declaration is not the only reaction from a club recently – and Ludogorets complained about the referees, Botev (Plovdiv), CSKA, Beroe and others are regularly dissatisfied with tendentious refereeing. What is your comment?
– You yourself see that both at a high European level and with the presence of VAR, mistakes are made – the English derby between Arsenal and Liverpool, when the top referees demonstrated strange decisions, is indicative. No one is immune to mistakes, but that’s exactly why I personally invited a world authority like Victor Kasai to take matters into his own hands. You know the difference between personal responsibility and collective irresponsibility – when everyone hides behind the other. Ever since Viktor Kasai has been working for us, he himself has been determining the kits for each match in the efbet league, and his colleague Ring is responsible for the VAR appointments. If anyone thinks that these professionals can be influenced, then they are deeply mistaken. By the way, the same applies to Mladen Krastaich – we appointed proven specialists from abroad to two of the most important positions for Bulgarian football, because we believe in their complete impartiality.
– Are you personally satisfied with Victor Kasai’s work?
– As I already said, there will always be mistakes, but the goal for Victor Kasai is long-term and concerns the development of Bulgarian refereeing for both men and women. The period for the referees is transitional – we introduced the VAR system, for which we paid over 1.8 million euros, separately opportunities are given to many young referees, in general – a lot of work is being done to raise the level. For me, the problem is elsewhere – there is no way that after every match some president, coach or representative of a fan faction goes out in public and thunders the referee.
This is nowhere to be found, and mistakes are everywhere. It’s just that the BFS is a convenient target for everyone here, especially when a failure has to be justified. That’s why I try not to attach too much importance to various attacks and commissioned articles in the media – our job is to follow and enforce the rules completely impartially and to develop football. We do it for the sake of the clubs, but – as it turns out – and despite similar reactions from them.
– There are also many reactions from Dimitar Berbatov’s team…
It is frivolous to expect me to comment on individuals who first proclaim themselves as non-campaign candidates, then as presidents, and who constantly spew lies and slander to protect their personal ambitions. It is much more important to talk about what the BFS does, and it is not small at all. Now, for example, we will open another football complex – in Vidin, a real jewel, the investment of the football union is almost half a million BGN. Last week we broke ground on a new facility in Peshtera.
Less than a month ago, I personally cut the ribbon on an artificial field in Ravno Pole. Since 2018 alone, we have implemented and are working on a total of over 25 sites, and the funding is from UEFA and FIFA programs, which BFS won. These are projects whose goal is to promote the game throughout the country, to give children the opportunity to train and play in perfect conditions, to relieve local clubs. This is exactly why I refuse to comment on ridiculous attacks – if that’s not work, what is? I will give you another example – we have launched a nationwide program for the development and training of talented draft nationals, which this year alone will cover over 250 children.
Each of them is presented with the philosophy of playing in the Bulgarian national teams and I am convinced that they will be prepared to enter our junior teams. I define all this as long-term and purposeful strategic work for the development of Bulgarian football. It is a pity that the good results are not spicy enough for the audience and remain on the sidelines, and the first place is given to all kinds of declarations and baseless criticisms.
– How will you respond to the claims that BFS only builds grounds and organizes hotels and charters for the nationals?
With facts! Most importantly, the BFS administers 600 matches a week and takes care of all the national trimmings, which is no small feat! Here, I will share some news with you – Bulgaria has been officially approved by UEFA to host the prestigious CFM educational program next year – this is a project of the European federation and the University of Lausanne, which provides additional professional qualification to those working in football. Many of the BFS employees have already completed the program, and now we will give club representatives and all interested persons from the football family the opportunity to apply for participation.
That is, the BFS also invests in human resources, and this will improve work at all levels in the system. Football is constantly changing and modernizing, and we have to be up to date – that’s why we are organizing training programs with the clubs and representatives of the municipalities, which will be under the umbrella of the new BFS Academy. Even now, experts from UEFA are in Boyana to complete the strategy for the development of women’s football together.
– In 2023, the Bulgarian Football Union will celebrate its centenary – what can we expect?
We are currently working with proven specialists to refresh the visual image of the federation and the national teams. About a month ago, we also launched a large-scale digitization project along with the mobile application for fans of the national teams. That is, expect the BFS to continue to modernize, expect other partnerships and pleasant surprises. I am proud that we manage to do all this in this mildly hostile environment, that is why I call for more calmness and respect for each other. Imagine what we can do if we are finally united in the name of football!