A major scandal took place on Monday evening at Vasil Levski Stadium in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
The European-qualifying match between Bulgaria and England was thus interrupted several times due to racial outcry from the audience, and it risked a transition completely blown off as the problems continued.
The calls were apparently directed at English defender Tyrone Mings, and England’s Harry Kane informed the referee early in the first half of the situation.
According to Sky Sports, there were, among other things, acoustic sounds from smaller groups of supporters.
As the rules dictate, via the loudspeaker system at the stadium was warned that the fight would be permanently interrupted if the shedding continued, but towards the end of the half-time it was again mad.
Both England manager Gareth Southgate and several players conferred with the referee and officials, but after a few minutes of interruption the game resumed.
According to UEFA’s set of rules, the next step is for players to leave the field for a period. Third step is a cancellation.
In connection with the recent interruption, some black-clad spectators left the stadium, as can be seen in the image below.
The English players were prepared for racism to arise during the outfield match in Bulgaria, and it was previously reported that the players were ready to leave the field on their own initiative. However, they chose to follow UEFA’s rules and stay on the field.
Immediately before the start of the second half, television images could see Bulgaria’s leader Ivelin Popov reaching out to the audience, where he probably urged them to stop the racist outcry.
It is far from the first time England’s national team is exposed to racism. In the past, both Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have been victims of racial discrimination by opposing team spectators. Bulgaria has previously been penalized for similar cases in the ongoing qualification, and the last time England visited in 2011, Ashley Young had to listen.
England won the match 6-0 on two goals by Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling, while Marcus Rashford and Harry Kane each netted a single time. With the win, the English are very close to booking a place at next year’s European Cup final round before the last two matches of the qualification