Sofia back Penev despite legal problems

SOFIA - CSKA Sofia will not sack coach Luboslav Penev despite his recent legal problems, CSKA's chief executive Ventsislav Zhivkov said on Wednesday.

Penev, 43, will miss Thursday's Europa League match at English Premier League club Fulham after he was banned from leaving Bulgaria by local authorities because of a bank demand over a debt of more than two million levs ($1.54 million).

"Luboslav Penev has some personal problems but he'll continue to be CSKA coach and the court's decision won't affect our attitude," Zhivkov told reporters.

Penev's lawyer had said the coach could face a disciplinary sanction and even dismissal by the Sofia-based club.

"It's not a pleasant situation but we're behind him (Penev) and we're confident he'll overcome the difficulties," Zhivkov added.

Penev's assistant Radoslav Zdravkov will take charge of CSKA, bottom of Europa League Group E with one point from four matches, against third-placed Fulham who have five points.