Saturday, 5 September 2009

Madonna Concert Ruined Home Advantage For Bulgarian Football

I find this rather funny, as it seems that most who attended the concert had a field day. Why they didn’t put a hard board covering over the pitch like other big concert venues? Even with hindsight of the previous concert no lessons were learnt. Madonna now may be the scapegoat for Bulgaria’s football team failing to qualify for the world cup as this is their familiar home ground and home advantage might not transpire.

Madonna Concert Ruined Home Advantage For Bulgarian Football

The Vassil Levski stadium in Sofia has apparently been left in ruins following the Madonna concert, according to the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) and its sporting director and former Levski player and head coach Nassko Sirakov.

The news comes just two days before the cup qualifier against Montenegro on September 5.

"The state of the pitch is appalling," he said, quoted by the website of the BFU. "Do we have a pitch for the match at all?"

Some commentators have found it strange that the authorities did not realise what would happen to the turf following a major event like the Madonna concert. Metallica performed in Sofia on July 25 2009. The event attracted 50 000 hard core heavy metal fans and surely the crowd inflicted a lot more damage to the turf than the Madonna faithful.

Yet it would appear that the Bulgarian Football Union and the Vassil Levski administration failed to take into consideration the lessons from the Metallica show, knowing how long it would take for the grass to recuperate and for the field to be restored to the standard required for such an important encounter.

"They've been aware of this Montenegro qualifier for one-and-a-half years and now the stadium administrators are complaining about the short time they have to repair the pitch." Sirakov was quoted as saying on the BFU website.

The barrage of criticism didn't end there. Bulgaria coach Stanimir Stoilov also accused the stadium officials of allowing last Saturday's Madonna's concert to be held on the national ground only days before the world cup qualifier

"These people have no idea how to take care of the pitch, the turf is utterly destroyed," Stoilov said

"There is no grass left, we will be suing," he said.

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