Head of Bulgarian FA steps aside after racist abuse

Borislav Mihaylov resigns in the wake of qualifier against England

Supporters of Bulgaria at the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying group A soccer match between Bulgaria and England, in Sofia, on October 14th. The match was twice brought to halt due to racist behaviour of Bulgarian fans. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

Supporters of Bulgaria at the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying group A soccer match between Bulgaria and England, in Sofia, on October 14th. The match was twice brought to halt due to racist behaviour of Bulgarian fans. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

 

Borislav Mihaylov, the president of the Bulgarian Football Union, has resigned after England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday was twice halted because of persistent racial abuse from home supporters.

Mihaylov’s letter of resignation will be presented to members of the country’s FA Executive Committee on Friday.

A statement from the BFU on the morning after the chastening 6-0 defeat against England, read: “Today the Bulgarian FA president Borislav Mihaylov has resigned from his position – his letter of resignation will be presented to the members of the FA’s Executive Committee at this Friday’s meeting.

It added: “It comes after the pressure that has been generated over the past few days; a situation that is not positive for Bulgarian football or the Football Union itself. After so many years in the position and because of his network of international contacts, Mr Mihaylov has said he is ready to continue helping Bulgarian football to develop in any way possible.”

Meanwhie, the Bulgaria goalkeeper Plamen Iliev has said home fans “behaved well” during the game, suggesting that Gareth Southgate’s players “overreacted a bit”. The Ludogorets player said he had not heard anything, echoing comments made by his manager, Krasimir Balakov.

“If I am honest, I believe they (the fans) behaved well today,” Iliev said. “There wasn’t any abuse (as far as I could hear) and I think they (the England players) overreacted a bit. The public was on a good level – I didn’t hear any bad language used towards their or our players.”

Bulgaria have gone a full year now without a win and the defeat by England on Monday night was a sixth game in charge for Balakov without a victory. Bulgaria are bottom of Euro 2020 qualifying group A with three points from seven games. - Guardian

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