SOFIA: Bulgaria coach Plamen Markov has imposed a ban on sex until after today's Euro 2004 qualifier but his tactics have not frightened their Belgian opponents.
“On Wednesday evening the coach issued an order – no sex until the qualifier against Belgium ... Plamen Markov thinks players should concentrate to the maximum on the decisive match,” sports daily newspaper 7 Days Sport said on Thursday.
Wives and girlfriends cannot visit the players in the 18-man squad, who are attending a training camp at the presidential residence of Boyana outside Sofia. The players said it was the first time such a ban had been imposed.
Told about the Bulgarian sex ban, Belgium coach Aime Anthuenis said on Thursday: “That's his (Markov's) way of doing it (preparing his team). It's possible it's a good idea if it guarantees success. Everyone's got their own style.”
The Belgium squad have also been starved of sex ahead of the match, though there has been no specific ban by the coach.
“The players have all been at the training camp for a week, so they have no way of seeing their wives or girlfriends anyway,” said Anthuenis.
Asked about the match he added: “I'm optimistic. You've got to be. When you're not optimistic, there's not much point in turning up, is there?”
“We have no fear. It's going to be a special match.”