Bulgarian champions Ludogorets call on government to ban away fans and stop the cycle of violence

May 14 – Bulgarian champions Ludogorets have called on government to bring in urgent measures to curb football hooliganism in the country.

The club want a ban on visiting supporters in Bulgarian championship derby matches. Rivals Levski called for a ban on away fans. CSKA Sofia are adamant that visiting fans should not be restricted from attending derby games.
Ludogorets demand comes just two days after winning their 13th title in a row, beating CSKA Sofia 3:1.

In an open letter to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Sports, political party leaders and the president of the Bulgarian Football Union, the club outlined their complaint.

“On Saturday (May 11), Ludogorets won its 13th consecutive title after defeating CSKA-Sofia. This happened in a match played at Huevepharma Arena, as thousands of peaceful fans, including women and children, came to support their favorite team,” said the club letter.

“Once again, however, the celebration was marred by a handful of hooligans in the away campaign of the opposing team. Those in question gutted many seats in the “Guests” section, throwing bombs and other dangerous objects at our fans and police officers, thereby endangering their health. We are not talking at all about chipped tiles and broken faucets in the toilets, which will have to be paid by the CSKA management.

“We have repeatedly alerted the institutions that the time has long come for tough measures against football hooliganism. Ludogorets has more than once been a victim of the aggression of self-forgetful youths who commit a crime supposedly supporting their favorite team. Our players and officials have been injured by stones and pyrotechnics while performing their duties.”

The club said that it has on several occasions initiated discussions over taking strict measures to protect the safety of players, officials and visitors, but no avail.

“We, the workers in Ludogorets, will not stop fighting against this, because the aggression is escalating and it goes with the language of hatred and insults on ethnic and racial grounds,” said the letter.

Referencing the elections that are die to take place in Bulgaria, the letter said: “It is a good moment for the candidate MPs to promise their voters that as soon as they enter the new parliament, they will take tough legislative measures and all those who endanger the lives and health of people at sports events will get what they deserve – and the fairest punishment is prison or lifetime restraining orders…

“The management of PFC Ludogorets supports the proposal of the owner of PFC Levski, Mr. Nasko Sirakov, who requested a ban on visiting fans during risky matches. The measure is unpopular but necessary.

We all together have a responsibility to preserve the health, life and dignity of visitors to sporting events.”

Contact the writer of this story, Aleksander Krassimirov, at moc.l1716629320labto1716629320ofdlr1716629320owedi1716629320sni@o1716629320fni1716629320