Bulgaria V England Racism: Bulgarian Prime Minister Calls For Football Chief To Resign

The Bulgarian prime minister has called for the head of the country’s football association to resign after England players were racially abused in a European qualifier in Sofia on Monday.

Boyko Borissov “strongly condemned” the behaviour, which included Nazi salutes and monkey chants.

The match, which England won 6-0, was halted twice because of racist behaviour by home fans.

The British government is writing to Uefa on Tuesday to demand more action.

Downing Street says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has seen the footage and he thinks it is “vile and has no place in football or anywhere else”.

“After yesterday’s shameful loss of the Bulgarian National Team and given the bad results of our football, I ordered to end any relationship with BFU, including financial, until the withdrawal of Borislav Mihaylov from the post.”

England forward Raheem Sterling tweeted to describe the call for Mihaylov to resign as a “good move”.

The Vasil Levski Stadium was already subject to a partial closure for the match after Bulgaria were sanctioned for racist behaviour during Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

Before the match, BFU president Mihaylov had complained to Uefa about “unjust branding” after the build-up was overshadowed by fears England’s players could be subjected to abuse.

Mihaylov, a former Reading goalkeeper, played at three World Cups for Bulgaria and is a member of Uefa’s executive committee.

After making a pass in the first half, England defender Tyrone Mings glanced over his shoulder and could be heard calling towards the touchline: “Did you hear that?”

Shortly afterwards, in the 28th minute, the game was stopped.

Striker Harry Kane was in conversation with referee Ivan Bebek on the halfway line while a stadium announcement was made to condemn racist abuse and warn fans that the game could be abandoned if it continued. At the same time, England manager Southgate was talking to a number of his players.

The game resumed but was stopped again just before half-time. Southgate and several England players were in discussion with match officials before the game was restarted for a second time.

In line with Uefa protocol, England had the option to walk off the pitch but played the full 90 minutes.

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