England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria halted twice after racist chanting and Nazi salutes from home fans as Ian Wright says ‘UEFA are not doing nearly enough’ and Roy Keane admits ‘I feel physically sick listening to that’
- Racist abuse led to England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria being halted
- Referee implemented the first step of UEFA’s three-step protocol to stop abuse
- England boss Gareth Southgate then reported a second incident on 40 minutes
- England took a 4-0 lead into half-time with Ross Barkley scoring twice
- At half-time, Bulgaria’s captain could be seen remonstrating with home fans
- England’s players were booed as the emerged for the second half
England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was temporarily halted twice after the visiting players reported racist chanting and Nazi salutes from the home crowd to the referee.
After the first incident on 30 minutes, the official, Ivan Bebek, then implemented the first step of UEFA’s three-step protocol for racist chanting during games.
This involved a statement being read out over the PA system, requesting supporters stop their behaviour.
Bulgaria supporters made Nazi salutes and offensive gestures alongside racist chanting
The game was stopped twice in the first half after the players reported the behaviour
The match officials implemented the first stages of UEFA’s three-step protocol
UEFA’S THREE-STEP PROTOCOL
1 – The referee will speak to the stadium announcer and demand the halting of racist behaviour.
2 – If it continues, the referee can take the players off the field into the dressing rooms for a period of time and the stadium announcer will make another address.
3 – If it still continues, the match will be abandoned.
Along with their chanting, Bulgaria fans were also seen making Nazi salutes and offensive gestures in the crowd.
Bulgaria captain Ivan Popov went over to speak to supporters at half-time to demand they stopped the chanting.
Tyrone Mings, making his England debut, first raised concerns, with Gareth Southgate then made aware leading to step one.
Ian Wright said on ITV: ‘The fact is there are a set of people there who have got no respect, they have no respect
‘UEFA are not doing nearly enough.
‘I am so proud at what we are doing at the moment.’
England captain Harry Kane spoke to referee Ivan Bobek as game was stopped the first time
The game was stopped for a second time as Gareth Southgate reported more abuse
Roy Keane added: ‘You feel sick to your stomach when you witness it. It is horrible. I feel physically sick listening to that.’
Wright added: ‘You can feel physically sick, but you have to continue playing through that and what we are seeing now is you don’t have to do that
‘It is a terrible day for Bulgarian people but it is a great day for tackling racism
‘What we are seeing is a set of fans who do not care and need educating.
‘We have heard it for many years about walking off and it is something you do not want to do. You need your white players to do it together, when you see it happening it is powerful.’
After 41 minutes, England boss Gareth Southgate reported a further instance of abuse on the touchline.
The game was stopped again but the players did not leave the pitch as a further announcement was made.
A total of six minutes of injury-time were added at the end of the first half due to the two stoppages.
ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley said: I’I can only add our committed support to anything that will halt this sickening taint on this game.
‘I’d like to say it is shocking but it is not.’