Bulgarian soccer chief resigns after England game halted over racist chants

England Vs Bulgaria Match Marred By Racist Abuse From Fans

Bulgarian supporters directed a series of racist chants towards England's black players, forcing the match to be halted twice in the first half under UEFA's anti-racism protocol. The England players and management showed tremendous dignity and the prime minister commends the players who were targeted with this despicable abuse for their response.

Bulgaria, who are bottom of the Euro2020 qualifying group and have lost their last 10 games, could face a fine from UEFA.

On Tuesday, Bulgaria Prime Minister Boyko Borrissov condemned the racist fans and called on soccer federation president Borislav Mihailov to resign.

"I urge Borislav Mihaylov to hand in his resignation immediately!" Borisov posted on Facebook on October 15.

Borisov said the government would sever all ties, including financial, with the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) over what he called "a shameful loss" and the overall poor standing of Bulgarian football until Mihaylov resigned.

English Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Clarke, who was at the Levski Stadium, said it was "probably one of the most appalling nights (he has) seen in football".

The FA also released the following statement after the match: "The FA can confirm that England players were subjected to abhorrent racist chanting while playing in the EURO 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria".

Southgate said there had been a long discussion with the referee about the situation during the second temporary stoppage.

I think there would have been racist behaviour whatever had been said or done beforehand but what happened beforehand probably did make last night worse, as those who wanted to act up knew that they had the flawless opportunity and biggest audience (via TV) to get maximum publicity/coverage.

However, as England players and staff criticized the treatment they received, Bulgarian coach Krasimir Balakov said he "personally did not hear the chanting".

"There has to be a wider debate about, where we have a match like this, what should happen", Powar added.

"I am absolutely in favour of strict punishments if such things happened".

An announcement was made in the 28th minute, following UEFA's anti-racism protocols, warning fans that any further incidents could result in the match being abandoned.

Bulgaria hosts the Czech Republic at the same Vasil Levski National Stadium on November 17.

Meanwhile, Brian Kerr, doing punditry on the game for Virgin Media Sport, spoke about the role of UEFA in stomping out this kind of behaviour for good.

The game was marred in controversy and needed to be halted twice by the referee after Bulgarian fans refused to relent in their disgusting attempts to warrant a reaction from the England players.

Tyrone Mings of England.

"The crowd was behaving well, I have not heard any insults", said goalkeeper Plamen Iliev. I could hear it as clear as day. It doesn't affect me too much.

Southgate also commented: "Sadly, my players, due to their experiences in our own country, are hardened to racism".

England now need just a point from their final two qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo next month to qualify for Euro2020.



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