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Plovdiv coach quits after a day

The coach of Bulgarian outfit Lokomotiv Plovdiv resigned only a day after signing a contract until the end of the season, the club has confirmed.

Georgi Ivanov, a former Bulgaria striker, was unveiled as the new manager on Wednesday. He replaced Emil Velev, who was dismissed after Plovdiv's sluggish start to the season.

But after taking charge of a training session on Thursday, the 36-year-old made up his mind to resign, blaming "organisational chaos" for his decision.

The club said that, despite an attempt by owner Veselin Mareshki to change Ivanov's mind at an emergency meeting between the two on Friday, the coach had stuck with his decision to quit.

Ivanov, twice named Bulgarian Footballer of the Year Bulgarian Footballer of the Year, had previously been coach at Levski Sofia, resigning from that position in April.

Plovdiv's poor start has seen them win only one of their eight league games so far - and also resulted in players being ordered to take lie detector tests.

After a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Botev Vratsa last month, Mareshki ordered his players to undergo the tests in order to eradicate the possibility that "suspicious factors" might have been behind the defeat.

The owner said: "Nobody is insured against defeats, but this loss is very strange. The fair play principle is the most important thing for me, and all players and coaches will take lie detector tests."

He ordered the tests days after the Bulgarian Football Union said an investigation into alleged match-fixing in four domestic games this season had begun.


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