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Portuguese striker accuses team-mates after bitter CSKA Sofia departure

Jose Furtado accuses colleagues of racism

FurtadoBulgarian side CSKA Sofia have announced that Jose Emilio Furtado will leave the club and have stripped Valentin Iliev of the captaincy after the two were involved in a training ground fight.

However, the Portuguese striker has hit out at the club, claiming he was the victim of a premeditated gang attack and accusing his Bulgarian team-mates of racism.
It is not the first time that Furtado, who joined CSKA from fellow Bulgarian top-flight side Vihren in 2006, has been in trouble with his current employers, and manager Stoycho Mladenov announced the 24-year-old’s departure at a news conference.

“We are not a pub team and we can’t allow things like this to happen,” he said. “We sacked Furtado because it’s his second disciplinary offence.”

But speaking to Portuguese website Maisfutebol, Furtado had a very different take on the incident.

“The training session was coming to an end. I had the ball at my feet and the captain, Valentine Iliev called for a pass. I saw another team-mate unmarked and decided to pass to him. From that moment onwards all hell broke loose,” explained Furtado.

“Iliev came over to me raging and shouting, putting his head against mine and trying to punch me. I defended myself and the session ended there, but the worse was still to come.”

Lying in wait

“When I got to the changing room it was only the Bulgarian players who were there and they closed the door. They all piled into me, punching me, kicking me, giving me everything. I couldn’t do anything. I curled up and tried to defend myself as well as I could.”

Furtado added that, along with other incidents that occurred over the season, “I could talk about racism” and said he is anxious to leave the country and find another club.

Furtado came through the ranks at FC Porto, but made the move to Bulgaria with Vihren in 2005. After scoring ten goals in sixteen appearances he signed for CSKA, where he had maintained a good goal return.

11 May 2007, by Sean Gillen and Tom Kundert

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