Football

Bulgaria slapped with fine, must play game behind closed doors

The match was halted twice in the first half due to abuse from sections of the home support. AFP / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV

PARIS: Bulgaria must play their next home game behind closed doors and have been handed a fine of 75,000 euros ($83,000) after racist chanting by supporters marred their Euro 2020 qualifier against England earlier this month, UEFA said Tuesday. The disciplinary arm of European football’s governing body also ordered Bulgaria to play a second match behind closed doors, but that punishment is suspended for a “probationary period” of two years.

The punishment means Bulgaria will play their final Euro 2020 qualifier at home to the Czech Republic, on Nov. 17, in an empty stadium.

UEFA also ordered Bulgaria to display a banner with the wording “No to racism” at their next two home games.

The Bulgarian FA was also fined an additional 10,000 euros for “causing a disturbance during a national anthem” prior to kickoff of the game in Sofia on Oct. 14, which England won 6-0. The English FA was fined 5,000 euros for the same offense.

The match at the Vasil Levski Stadium was halted twice in the first half due to abuse from sections of the home support, including monkey chants and apparent Nazi salutes.

Despite the abuse, the England team opted to complete the match instead of walking off the pitch.

The game was played in a stadium already partially closed after racist incidents during games against Kosovo and the Czech Republic in June.

The incidents caused indignation in the football world and were condemned both by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov.

The subsequent fallout led to Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov resigning along with the country’s FA chief, Borislav Mihaylov.

In the wake of the incidents, Bulgarian police said they had identified 16 people suspected of being involved in the “abusive actions.”

Bulgaria are winless in seven Euro 2020 qualifiers - losing four and drawing three - and occupy last place in Group A.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 30, 2019, on page 7.

Recommended





Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here