Bulgaria Police arrest four following racist abuse at Euro qualifier

Four Bulgarian football fans suspected of subjecting black England players to racist abuse have been detained following police raids.

England’s 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win over Bulgaria in Sofia was stopped twice in the first half following racist chanting by home supporters.

“Work is still ongoing to identify others,” a statement from Bulgaria’s Ministry of the Interior said.

Bulgaria’s football chief Borislav Mikhailov resigned on Tuesday.

The English FA and Uefa have condemned the actions of the ‘ultras’ section of Bulgaria fans, with Aleksander Ceferin, president of the sport’s European governing body, calling for “football family and governments” to “wage war on the racists”.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov has apologised to the England team after fans taunted their black players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday.

European soccer’s ruling body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria over the racist behaviour.

While Balakov said after the game he had not heard any racist abuse from the stands, in an email to reporters late on Tuesday he apologised for the fans’ behaviour.

“I strongly condemn and reject racism as a norm of conduct that contradicts modern human relations,” Balakov said. “This is a prejudice that comes from the past that must be eradicated forever.

“I want to say something very clear: given that there have been insults on such a basis, I, as a coach of the national team, apologise to the English footballers and all those who feel hurt.”

Bulgarian Football Union President Borislav Mihaylov resigned on Tuesday, a few hours after the Balkan country’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for the former international goalkeeper to step down. Mihaylov had previously defended Bulgarian soccer from accusations of racism and criticised England for what he saw as a “fixation” on potential incidents that could raise tension.

administrator

Related Articles