Racist Chants and Nazi Salutes Nearly Derail Bulgaria-England Euro 2020 Tournament Qualification Soccer Game

Newsweek 1 month ago

Racist chats twice shut down a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2020 qualifier soccer game between England and Bulgaria Monday.

The match held at Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was temporarily halted on two separate occasions when a number of Bulgarian fans could be heard making racist chants towards black England players during the first half of the game.

A significant amount of abuse appears to have been focused on three black England players, including star midfielder Raheem Sterling. Sterling was apparently subjected to a "monkey" chant by a section of the crowd. The offending Bulgarians were said to have been dressed in all black, and in addition to the racist chants, some were seen to be making Nazi salutes.

In the 28th minute of the match, the referee halted the game due to the ongoing racist abuse. About five minutes later the game resumed, but had to be paused again for a short time beginning in the 44th minute. At that point, it was not clear whether the match would continue. An announcement was made on the stadium's loudspeaker warning the crowd that the game could be cancelled if abuse continued, which was met with loud booing.

Bulgaria team captain Ivelin Popov could be seen pleading with Bulgarian fans to stop the behavior as game's first half came to a close. While the "monkey" chants seem to have stopped by the second half, fans could be heard booing England players throughout the rest of the game, seemingly focused on the team's black players.

Regardless of the hostile atmosphere, England ended up winning the game 6-0. Sterling scored two of the goals.

Raheem Sterling
England player Raheem Sterling was reportedly the target of racist chants in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification game against Bulgaria on October 14 2019.

The stadium was operating at a reduced capacity, with 5,000 seats left intentionally empty, in response to previous racist behavior by Bulgaria fans. In June, fans of the team were accused of racist behavior during two games against Czech Republic and Kosovo.

Far-right nationalism and overt racism have been present in European football for many decades. Bulgaria is certainly not the only country affected by the phenomena, and England has also been home to many incidents involving racist abuse. Earlier this year, world soccer governing body FIFA updated their disciplinary code in response to problem.

While the tournament held once every four years typically takes place in a single European country, the Euro 2020 championship is being held in 12 different countries to celebrate the tournament's 60-year anniversary. The qualifying phase of the tournament consists of 55 national teams being whittled down to 24 teams that will participate in the final event. England is currently in the top position of their qualification group. Bulgaria has already been eliminated from the competition.

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USA Today › Sports › 1 month ago
England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was stopped twice because of racist chants and Nazi salutes from the home supporters.
The Sun › Sports › 1 month ago
RACIST Bulgaria fans on Monday night abused England’s black stars with monkey chants and Nazi salutes. The Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia was stopped twice because of the disgraceful scenes. Much of the sickening abuse was aimed at Raheem Sterling who...
The Sun › 1 month ago
FIVE more Bulgarian football thugs have been detained for vile racist abuse at Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against England. Sick hooligans were seen making Nazi salutes and making horrific monkey chants as the Three Lions carved up their woeful side...
Business Insider › Sports › 1 month ago
Bulgaria fans appeared to make Nazi salutes and monkey chants at England's black players during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday. The game was halted twice in the first-half, as per UEFA's "three step protocol", which included a stadium...
RT › Sports › 1 month ago
England's fixture against Bulgaria in Sofia was blighted by several instances of racist behavior from home fans, including Nazi salutes and monkey chants, which prompted the referee to stop the game on two occasions. Read Full Article at RT.com
Washington Post › Sports › 1 month ago
LONDON — England may have beaten Bulgaria, 6-0, in Monday’s UEFA European Championship qualifier match, but its players were subjected to monkey chants, Nazi salutes and taunts from supporters in the...
Fox News › Sports › 1 month ago
A UEFA European Championship qualifying match between England and Bulgaria on Monday was marred by racist chant and Nazi salutes in the first half of the blowout.
The Sun › 1 month ago
BULGARIA’S footy fans shocked the world with disgusting displays of racism in the stands during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier last night. Nazi salutes were flung up and monkey noise chants echoed through the air, forcing two stoppages of play, as...
The Sun › 4 days ago
BULGARIA’S footy fans shocked the world with disgusting displays of racism in the stands during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in October. Nazi salutes were flung up and monkey noise chants echoed through the air, forcing two stoppages of play, as...
One America News Network › 1 month ago
By Angel Krasimirov SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov has apologized to the England team after fans taunted their black players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants during a Euro 2020
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