England’s Euro 2020 clash with Bulgaria was stopped TWICE after vile racist chanting was directed at the English players in the Vasil Levski National Stadium
UEFA has a three-step protocol to tackle racism, and the first of these was triggered after English players were clearly being was abused
The first two steps of UEFA’s of the three-step protocol were triggered, and the next and final step would be to have abandoned the game.
The announcement was made by a UEFA delegate, over the loudspeaker at Stadion Vasil Levski demanded the racist chanting stop after referee Ivan Bebek paused the game.
Over load speaker the UEFA delegate stated:
“Please be in no doubt that the game may be suspended and abandoned if racist behaviour continues.”
UEFA has a three-step protocol to tackle racism, and the first of these was triggered in the first half in Sofia after England players Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling were subjected to abuse.
Mings was heard telling an official: “Hey, did you hear that?” as the abuse started, prompting Gareth Southgate to inform an official who alerted referee Ivan Bebek.
The match was then paused as an announcement was made over the loud speaker demanding the racist chanting, monkey noises and Nazi salutes stop.
A UEFA delegate said: “Because of racist behaviour which is interfering with the game, the referee has indicated he may have to suspend the match.
The second step of UEFA’s protocol requires players of both teams to momentarily leave the pitch while another announcement is made.
This didn’t happen on Monday, but the game was paused twice. The third and final step would see the game abandoned.
In response to the racist chanting, The FA released the following statement: “We can confirm that England players were subjected to abhorrent racist chanting while playing in the EURO 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria.
“This is unacceptable at any level of the game and our immediate focus is supporting the players and staff involved.
“As we are sadly aware, this is not the first time our players have been subjected to this level of abuse and there is no place for this kind of behaviour in society, let alone in football. We will be asking UEFA to investigate as a matter of urgency.”
UEFA, meanwhile, announced they wouldn’t be releasing a statement on Monday night.
Bulgarian captain Ivelin Popov was seen speaking to supporters in the stand at half time, demanding they stop the racist chanting to prevent the match from being abandoned.
Some Bulgarian fans were then seen leaving the stadium. These seemed to be the hardcore nucleus of the racist chanting and soon after although reported sporadic racist remarks were reported the match continued without further incident
England response was a 6-0 win over Bulgaria