Bulgaria charged with racism and Nazi salutes as UEFA open disciplinary proceedings into England clash


In the wake of the Three Lions’ Group A win, which was marred by racism from home supporters, the sport’s European governing body has been investigating.

UEFA have confirmed that they have opened disciplinary proceedings against both England and Bulgaria in the wake of the former’s victory in Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifying clash.

Gareth Southgate’s side emerged as heavy 6-0 winners at Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia, but the game was heavily overshadowed by racism from sections of the home crowd in Sofia.

The game was twice brought to a halt in the first half before being resumed, with the resulting storm of controversy leading to the resignation of the Bulgaria Football Union’s president Borislav Mihaylov .

In a statement, UEFA confirmed that they were initiating proceedings against both the BFU and the Football Association following the Group A clash, with the former being charged with four breaches, while the latter have been charged with two.

Both teams have been cited for disrupting their respective national anthems, while Bulgaria have also been charged with racist behaviour, Nazi salutes and for throwing objects.

The BFU and FA have also been charged with separate breaches of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA European Qualifiers match between Bulgaria and England (0-6), played on 14 October,” read an official statement from the governing body.

“The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body with the date of the meeting yet to be confirmed.”

Bulgaria have previously come under fire for racism, with part of the stadium shut for Monday’s match as part of sanctions following similar incidents against Kosovo and the Czech Republic earlier in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Mihaylov stepped down earlier on Tuesday following widespread calls for him to tender his resignation, including from Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

National team coach Krasimir Balakov, however, claimed that he did not hear any racism from home supporters and instead attacked travelling fans for their conduct instead.

Having sealed a return to winning ways following their defeat on Friday against the Czech Republic, England are now on the cusp of sealing their spot at Euro 2020.

Bulgaria, however, will require favourable results elsewhere to secure a play-off berth in order to reach the showpiece tournament next year, which will be played across the continent.


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