CSKA coach Penev in hot water over debts

SOFIA - CSKA Sofia coach Luboslav Penev will miss Thursday's Europa League game at Fulham because of a legal wrangle that prevents him from leaving Bulgaria.

Local authorities have banned the former Valencia and Atletico Madrid striker from leaving the country because of a bank demand over a debt of two million levs ($1.54 million).

The 43-year-old Penev hoped the sanction would be lifted in time for the trip to London but a court in the south-east town of Burgas rejected his appeal.

"We requested the order barring Penev from leaving Bulgaria to be lifted until the proceedings were resolved but the court rejected it," Penev's lawyer Mihail Hadzhiyanev told reporters on Tuesday.

Hadzhiyanev also said the coach could face disciplinary sanction and even dismissal by CSKA who are bottom of Europa League Group E with one point from four matches, four points behind third-placed Fulham.

Penev said he still hoped that Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court would lift the ban.

"I'm extremely disappointed because the ban imposed on me goes against any logic," he said in a statement.

Penev's assistant Radoslav Zdravkov will take charge against Fulham if the ban remains in place.