SOFIA: Botev Plovdiv will replace debt-ridden CSKA Sofia in this year's Europa League, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) said on Wednesday after receiving an official confirmation from the European soccer's governing body UEFA.
CSKA, who finished third in the domestic league, had withdrawn from the tournament due to serious financial problems.
The two-times Bulgaria's top flight A Group champions Botev, who finished fourth in the Bulgarian championship, will meet Kazakhstan's Astana in the Europa League's first preliminary round on July 4 and 11.
 "We would like to thank the BFU for its efforts. It's good that Bulgaria will be once again represented by four teams in Europe,” Botev coach Stanimir Stoilov said.
"Our players are ready for the challenge and I think we'll delight our fans with our performances (in the tournament)," Stoilov added as Botev reacted quickly to strengthen their squad by signing Slovenian defender Elvedin Dzinic from Belgium's Charleroi.


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