Levski Sofia reject Ivanov resignation

SOFIA - Levski Sofia have rejected coach Georgi Ivanov's resignation after he offered to quit following the 3-0 defeat at Bulgarian league leaders Litex Lovech at the weekend, he said on Tuesday.

"It's not surprising when someone has some dignity and integrity that they offer their resignation," Ivanov told reporters. "However, the club owner (Todor Batkov) didn't accept it and now we have to continue fighting in every single match.

"I didn't surrender, it was just a normal reaction after such a heavy defeat."

Former Levski striker Ivanov, 33, took over from Serbian Ratko Dostanic who resigned last October.

Ivanov, once a crowd favourite after scoring 122 goals during his spells at Levski as player, has been criticised by the fans for a string of below-par performances.

Defeat in Lovech left 2009 league champions Levski, already out of the domestic cup, fourth in the standings, nine points behind Litex and in danger of missing out on a European place for the first time since 1990.

Bulgarian champions enter the Champions League qualifying rounds while teams finishing second and third in the league and the cup winners go into the Europa League.