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Bulgaria soccer coach Krasimir Balakov resigns after racist abuse of England team

Bulgaria soccer coach Krasimir Balakov and the Bulgarian Football Union’s executive committee has resigned following Monday’s controversial Euro 2020 qualifier when England players were subjected to racist abuse.

The game was twice temporarily halted in the first half after England debutant Tyrone Mings alerted officials to the abuse directed at him and others from various parts of the Levski Stadium in Sofia.

As well as the monkey chanting, some Bulgarian fans made Nazi salutes during the game.

Balakov had initially said he “personally did not hear the chanting” before arguing that England has a worse problem with racism than Bulgaria. He later apologized to the England players and condemned “all forms of racism.”

In a statement Friday, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) said the 53-year-old coach had resigned due to the team’s recent run of unsatisfactory performances.

The president of Bulgaria’s football association Borislav Mihaylov stepped down following the game after pressure from the country’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

READ: Wilfried Zaha says he’s ready to walk off the pitch if he’s racially abused

READ: All eyes on UEFA after football’s night of shame

UEFA investigation

UEFA’s disciplinary proceedings have begun, with the BFU charged with racist behavior and the disruption of a national anthem and displaying replays on a giant screen.

The English FA faces sanctions too, over national anthem disruption and an insufficient number of traveling stewards.

World governing body FIFA has also asked UEFA to notify it of any punishment potentially handed down to the BFU.

“This would allow any sanctions imposed to be extended worldwide,” said a FIFA statement.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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