Bulgaria given one-time stadium ban and fined $83,000 over racism

The Bulgarian Football Union has also been fined $94,000 (€85,000) for the “racist behavior of its supporters and the throwing of objects” and “causing disturbances during a national anthem.”

The disciplinary arm of European football’s governing body also ordered Bulgaria to play a second match behind closed door. However, that punishment is suspended for a “probationary period” of two years.

Bulgaria’s next Euro 2020 home qualifier is against the Czech Republic on November 17.

The punishment and fine follows UEFA’s investigation into the behavior of some Bulgarian fans during England’s 6-0 victory at the Levski Stadium in Sofia on October 14.

The game was twice temporarily halted in the first half after England debutant Tyrone Mings alerted officials to the abuse being directed at both himself and his fellow black teammates from various parts of ground.

As well as the monkey chanting, some Bulgarian fans made Nazi salutes during the Euro 2020 qualifier.

The Bulgarian Football Union was also ordered to display banners with the wording “NO TO RACISM” by UEFA’s disciplinary arm.

England were also fined €5,000 ($5,500) for “causing a disturbance during a national anthem.”

After the October 14 match, Bulgaria’s coach Krasimir Balakov resigned, as did the Bulgarian Football Union’s executive committee.

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

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.

The game against England was already being played in a partially-closed stadium after UEFA imposed penalties on Bulgaria after it had been found guilty of racist behavior in matches against the Czech Republic and Kosovo in June.

UEFA’s decision comes on the heels of the Serbia national team’s punishment for the “racist behavior” of its supporters during it’s 4-2 defeat by Portugal in September. It was ordered to play its next home game behind closed doors.
It also comes on the same day as an English FA Cup match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town which is being replayed after the first game was abandoned in the 64th minute following racist abuse directed at Haringey’s players from fans.
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Haringey players congregate during a stoppage in the game vs. Yeovil.

Haringey’s goalkeeper, Valery Douglas Pajetat, was reportedly spat at and hit by an object thrown from the Yeovil Town end.

Haringey manager, Tom Loizou, made the decision to withdraw his team following the abuse. Two men were arrested by police on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.

Loizou called for those found guilty to be “banned for life.”