Madonna leaves Bulgaria pitch in sorry state

SOFIA - Bulgaria have raised concerns over the state of the pitch at the Vasil Levski national stadium ahead of Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro after fans attending a recent Madonna concert damaged the playing surface.

"It's disgraceful," Bulgaria's sporting director Nasko Sirakov told local soccer union's website. "Do we have a national stadium or not?"

Bulgaria face the prospect of playing former Yugoslav republic in a Group Eight qualifier at the 44,000-capacity venue on a pitch that looks far from adequate for a high-profile game.

"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."

Bulgaria coach Stanimir Stoilov also blamed stadium officials for allowing last Saturday's Madonna's concert to take place just a week before such important match.

"These people have no idea how to take care of the pitch, the surface is completely destroyed," Stoilov told reporters.

"There's no grass on it... we should sue them for crimes against soccer," he said.

Bulgaria are third in the standings on eight points from six matches. Italy top the group on 14, followed by Ireland with 13 points from seven games.