Bulgaria shifts Euro 2024 qualifier to Plovdiv after warnings of violent fan protest in Sofia

November 7 – The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) has surprisingly decided to move Bulgaria’s upcoming Euro 2024 qualifier against Hungary, to be played on November 16, from the national stadium Vassil Levski in Sofia, to Plovdiv.

The match will now be played at the Hristo Botev stadium and without a crowd.

The reason for the change is fear of violence around the expected protests by Bulgarian fans against the current management of the BFU.
In recent weeks, fans of almost all Bulgarian clubs from the efbet League (first tier) have announced that they will join the large-scale protests against the president of BFU Borislav Mihailov and his rule.

Mihailov has been in charge for almost 18 years. In 2019, he resigned as president of the BFU, only to change his mind a few months later, withdrawing his resignation, and returning to head the Bulgarian FA.

The BFU said the match between Bulgaria and Hungary had been moved from Sofia to Plovdiv on the recommendation of UEFA and after consultation with the law enforcement authorities.

“The European Football Headquarters (UEFA) has sent an official letter to the Bulgarian Football Union, recommending that the qualification for EURO 2024 between Bulgaria and Hungary, scheduled for November 16, be moved to the Hristo Botev Stadium in Plovdiv. The reason for this is the high risk assessment after analysis by UEFA’s security and safety department.

“Due to signals of imminent mass riots and the serious danger to public order, the headquarters’ experts requested formal opinions from the Bulgarian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Metropolitan Directorate of Internal Affairs and the Bulgarian Football Union, and after additional communication with the Hungarian Football Federation, the decision was reached that the European qualification match to be held on November 16, Thursday, at 19:00, be held at the “Hristo Botev” stadium in Plovdiv, behind closed doors. The earlier kick off of the match is in accordance with the travel schedule of the guests from Hungary, who will leave for their homeland immediately after the end of the match.” said the Bulgarian Football Union in an official statement.

Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimorov, at moc.l1718715446labto1718715446ofdlr1718715446owedi1718715446sni@o1718715446fni1718715446