Bulgaria's manager Krasimir Balakov denies hearing any racist chanting during their Euro 2020 qualifying match against England.
The match in Sofia was marred by abuse directed at England’s black players during the 6-0 win for Gareth Southgate’s men, and the FA called on UEFA to take swift action as soon as the game ended.
At half-time Bulgaria's captain Ivelin Popov seemed to make an appeal to fans to put an end to their chanting, instead of heading into the changing room, a move that has been called 'courageous' but the English side.
However, Balkov suggests that is not what happened, saying his captain was probably apologising to the crowds for their poor performance.
England skipper Harry Kane spoke to Croatian referee Ivan Bebek and the first step of the UEFA anti-racism protocol – a stadium announcement to call on the abuse to stop – was enacted in the 28th minute.
Further abuse was reported to the match officials towards the end of the first half, with the referee halting play.
However, it is understood this suspension of play did not constitute the second part of the UEFA protocol, which would involve the players being taken temporarily off the pitch.
The final stage of the protocol would have been the abandonment of the match.
Anti-discrimination group Fare will now help UEFA build a “legally safe” case to prosecute Bulgaria after the abusive chanting.
The Fare network had observers inside the Levski Stadium in Sofia who fed their information to UEFA delegates, and this along with television footage will form part of the evidence European football’s governing body uses when making decisions on any sanctions.
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke last night called for football to take a “zero tolerance” approach to racism after the Euro 2020 qualifier was marred by abusive chants directed towards England’s black players and staff throughout the match.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says the single-game knockout format, used in the Champions League this year from the quarter-final onwards, has produced more exciting soccer than the usual two-legged games and could be revisited in the future.
Wales hero Neco Williams set his sights on a Wembley date with England afterscoring a dramatic Nations League winner against Bulgaria. The Liverpoolteenager, making only his second Wales appearance as a 65th-minute substitute,headed home Jonny Williams’ far-post cross in the fourth minute of stoppagetime to secure a 1-0 win in Cardiff. Now the 19-year-old is likely to make hisfirst start against England – who tried to convince the full-back that hisfuture lay with them – in a Wembley friendly on October 8.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 01:15Published
England manager Gareth Southgate says he does not understand how Phil Fodenand Mason Greenwood thought their action in Iceland were acceptable. Southgatewas speaking following the 0-0 draw against Denmark in the Nations League,which the two players watched from home after being stood down from nationalduties.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 00:51Published
Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes the upcoming PremierLeague season will be 'definitive' for Harry Kane's future at Spurs, withrumours continuing to swirl around the England striker's future. Jenas says hefeels for Newcastle fans following the club's recent failed takeover bid,while also tips Liverpool to retain their title.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 01:11Published
A short film has been released to celebrate the entire football industryuniting to sign the landmark ‘Mentally Healthy Football Declaration’, as partof the Heads Up campaign, to lose stigma around talking about mental health.Players and managers including Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane, Andy Robertson,John McGinn, Steph Houghton and Danny Rose, as well as senior leaders of UKfootball, all signed the Declaration on a video call with the Duke earlierthis month. This comes ahead of the ‘Heads Up FA Cup Final’ on 1st Augustwhich will see the Final dedicated to the issue of mental health. Thedeclaration will see governing bodies, leagues and organisations from acrossUK football recognising that mental health is as important as physical health,and committing to embedding a mentally healthy culture across the game.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 02:08Published
Sarina Wiegman will take over as England Women head coach on a four-year dealfrom September 2021, the Football Association has announced. The currentHolland boss will succeed Phil Neville, whose contract ends in July next year.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 00:49Published
Gary Neville has said that Gareth Southgate is the most capable Englandmanager within the past 30 years in regards to dealing with player misconduct.The former England assistant coach's comments came after Mason Greenwood andPhil Foden were dropped from the national team squad following Covid-19breaches.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 00:36Published