Uefa Charges Bulgaria And England Over Behaviour At Euro 2020 Qualifier

The game on Monday night had to be stopped twice because of racist abuse aimed at the England players.

Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against both Bulgaria and England following Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia.

The game had to be stopped twice because of racist abuse aimed at the England players by the crowd. Bulgarian fans made Nazi salutes and directed monkey noises at black England players.

However in a statement on Tuesday, Uefa said it had opened disciplinary proceedings against both teams.

Charges against the Bulgarian Football Union include racist behaviour, throwing objects, disruption of a national anthem and replays on a giant screen.

The English Football Association has also been charged with disruption of a national anthem, as well as an insufficient number of travelling stewards.

According to a Uefa statement, the case will be dealt with by the governing body’s control, ethics and disciplinary body, with the date of the meeting yet to be confirmed.

An FA spokesperson told PA Media: “We acknowledge the charges but will not be commenting further as it is an ongoing process.”

The news comes just hours after the president of the Bulgarian Football Union, Borislav Mihaylov, was forced to resign after coming under pressure from the country’s PM Boyko Borissov.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin had earlier urged the “football family” to “wage war on the racists”.

Ceferin blamed a rise in nationalism across Europe for fuelling racism at matches and said the governing body was committed to eradicating the “disease” from football.

“Believe me, Uefa is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate this disease from football,” Ceferin said in a statement.

“We cannot afford to be content with this, we must always strive to strengthen our resolve.

“More broadly, the football family – everyone from administrators to players, coaches and fans – needs to work with governments and NGOs to wage war on the racists and to marginalise their abhorrent views to the fringes of society.

“Football associations themselves cannot solve this problem. Governments too need to do more in this area.”

Sports minister Nigel Adams has written to Ceferin on behalf of the UK government.

“The terrible events last night demonstrate clearly that much more needs to be done to stamp racism out of the game, once and for all,” he wrote.

“I urge Uefa to take urgent action to ensure that all football authorities and fans are clear that the consequences of failing to tackle this issue will be severe.

“The England team has my full support and I welcome tough action from Uefa in response.”

Adams, who also addressed the issue in parliament, praised the conduct of England’s players and management in Sofia.

“As I am sure you will agree, no player, manager, supporter or participant in sport should have to tolerate discrimination of any kind,” he added.

“The England players and management showed tremendous dignity and I am incredibly proud with how they conducted themselves throughout the match.

“It was a step in the right direction to see the Uefa protocol engaged during the match, but there is much more that needs to be done.

“I appreciate that is it for the English FA to work directly with Uefa on this important issue, including what action will be taken next following the events of last night.”