SOFIA: Officials of the Bulgarian national football team hit out on Thursday after the grass of the Vasil Levski national stadium was severely damaged during a concert given by pop diva Madonna.
Bulgaria face Montenegro in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Saturday and the pitch has been so badly damaged, according to officials, that a change of venue has been mooted.
"It's a disgrace!" raged the team's sporting director Nasko Sirakov in an interview on the official website of the Bulgarian Football Union.
Stadium officials also said there was practically no grass left on the section of the pitch where Madonna staged her Sofia concert last Saturday.
"The date of the qualifier against Montenegro has been known for a year and a half now. How did Poland organise a similar concert at an airport, while we thrust it on the national stadium?" Sirakov fumed.
Bulgaria currently sit third in group eight six points behind leaders Italy and five behind the Republic of Ireland.
Only the group winners qualify for the World Cup finals, with the best second-placed teams joining play-offs for a chance to head to South Africa next summer.
Stadium officials said there was little chance of getting the pitch back to its normal condition ahead of the game and even suggested a change of venue.