- Bulgaria vs England game was halted twice because of the racist chants
- Several England players including Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling were taunted by the home fans
- Bulgaria manager seemed to play down the whole incident, claiming he was focused on the match
Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov has come out to sensationally deny that there were racist chants that rocked the game against England on Monday night, October 14.
England placed their Euro 2020 qualification back on course with a comprehensive 6-0 win over Bulgaria but the game had to be stopped severally due to alleged racism.
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A section of fans, presumed to be from the home side could be seen on camera administering offensive gestures while some emerged with disgusting monkey chants.
England debutant Tyrone Mings was particularly targeted and at some point, he had to make the assistant referee aware of the abuse.
Speaking to ITV, Balakov, to the surprise of journalists, completely played down the incident as he claimed to have been “completely focused on the game”.
“I personally did not hear the chanting you are most probably referring to. I saw that the referee stopped the game,” he said in the post-match interview.
In what looked like a well choreographed racist assault on the England players, drama played out as early as the 22nd minute when Aston Villa defender Mings had to turn to the ref after playing a pass to ask him, ”Did you hear that?”
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling also felt the heat from the fans after he won a freekick minutes later which was followed by taunts from the home fans at the Stadion Vasil Levski.
More vile abuse led to the stadium announcer to warn the hostile fans against chants and offensive gestures before the game was briefly halted.
Football fans across the world took to social media to rebuke Bulgaria fans for what they termed unsportsmanlike behavior as some called for a permanent ban by UEFA.
Early on Tuesday, Sky reported that Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called on the resignation of the President of the Bulgarian Football Union following the racist abuse.
Legit.ng reported earlier that Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori was left out of the England squad that decimated Bulgaria in their Euro 2020 qualifier at the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia.
The 21-year-old was handed a call up by Gareth Southgate alongside Tammy Abraham, however, Tomori was left on the bench in both games.
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