Plamen Markov has revealed that he has turned down a contract extension that would have kept him in charge of the Bulgarian national team.

“I did not resign. My contract expired yesterday and it was yesterday when I told (President of the Bulgarian Football Union) Ivan Slavkov I would not prolong my contract as a coach of the national team,” Markov told a news conference.

Bulgaria were the only team at Euro 2004 who lost all three first round matches.

“The position is very prestigious and it was a difficult decison to take… The reasons for my decision are personal and I am not prepared to discuss them,” Markov said.

The spokesman for the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) Atanas Karaivanov said Markov’s decision had come as a surprise. .

“No one from the leadership of the Bulgarian Football Union has sought a replacement for Markov until now and I do not think a candidate will be found in the next few days,” Karaivanov said.