Bulgarian police make six arrests after racist night of shame

October 18 – Bulgarian police have made six arrests in the aftermath of Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against England, which was twice halted for racist chanting and  Nazi salutes and led to the Bulgarian football president, Borislav Mihaylov, resigning 24 hours later.

“We do not tolerate such behaviour,” Bulgaria Ministry of the Interior commissioner Georgi Hadzhiev said after the arrests were made public.

Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov  said after the game he “didn’t hear” any chanting, having previously accused England of having a worse problem.

But Balakov has since posted a statement on Facebook apologising to ‘English footballers and to all those who felt offended’.

“I condemn all forms of racism as an unacceptable behaviour that contradicts normal human relations,” he added.

According to European anti-discrimination body Fare, about 20 stewards joined those involved in racist abuse.

Bulgaria”It is common practice in Eastern Europe,” said Fare executive director Piara Powar. “Some of the policing is not fit for purpose. We have called for UEFA to kick Bulgaria out of the competition.”

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