Bulgaria told to play match behind closed doors over fans' racist abuse of England players

Bulgaria fans during the match against England
Bulgaria fans during the match against England Copyright Reuters
By Luke Hurst
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UEFA also fined Bulgaria €75,000 for the sustained racist behaviour exhibited during the Euro 2020 qualifier against England


The Bulgarian football team has been told it must play its next home match behind closed doors, as punishment for the racist behaviour from fans during the match against England earlier this month.

UEFA launched disciplinary proceedings following the Euro 2020 qualifier on October 14, which was twice halted in the first half due to home supporters taunting black English players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants.

Following the match England's Football Association condemned the "abhorrent racist chanting", and Bulgarian police arrested a number of suspects.

Bulgaria's football chief Borislav Mihaylov cited "recent tensions" and "an environment that is detrimental to Bulgarian football and the Bulgarian Football Union", as he stood down following the match.

Four charges were brought against the Bulgarian Football Union following Bulgaria's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of England: racist behaviour, throwing of objects, disruption of a national anthem, and showing replays on a big screen.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body ordered Bulgaria to play its next home game with an empty stadium and passed down a second behind closed doors match, which is suspended for a probationary period of two years.

It said a banner bearing the words "no to racism" must be displayed at Bulgaria's next two home games.

And Bulgaria was also fined €10,000 for disrupting the England national anthem, and €75,000 for the racist behaviour - a sum smaller than many top players' weekly wage.

England, meanwhile, were fined €5,000 for causing disturbance during a national anthem.

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