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UEFA charge Bulgaria over racist chants and Nazi salutes

The Bulgarian Football Union must answer UEFA charges, including one relating to racist behaviour, following Monday's match versus England.

UEFA charge Bulgaria over racist chants and Nazi salutes
GEORGI LICOVSKI EFE

UEFA has charged the Bulgarian Football Union over racist behaviour by Bulgaria fans during Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier against England in Sofia.

England's 6-0 win was halted twice before half-time due to racist abuse being directed towards black players in the visitors' line-up.

A section of supporters, who were ejected from Vasil Levski National Stadium, aimed "monkey chants" at Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Marcus Rashford and were also seen making Nazi salutes.

Tuesday's fallout from the shameful scenes included BFU president Borislav Mihaylov resigning after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov threatened to cut funding if he did not step down.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin urged the "football family" and authorities including governments to "wage war on the racists" and his organisation has now taken action.

A statement issued by UEFA read: "Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA European Qualifiers match between Bulgaria and England (0-6), played on October 14.

"Charges against Bulgarian Football Union: Racist behaviour (chants, Nazi salutes)… Throwing of objects… Disruption of national anthem… Replays on giant screen."

The Football Association must also answer a charge of disrupting a national anthem after England fans jeered during the pre-match pleasantries.

Additionally, an "insufficient number of travelling stewards" mean the FA is accused of falling foul of UEFA's safety and security regulations.

A police vehicle is seen outside the headquarters of the Bulgarian Football Union in Sofia, BulgariaA police vehicle is seen outside the headquarters of the Bulgarian Football Union in Sofia, Bulgaria, October 15, 2019.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case.

Elsewhere, UEFA is looking into salutes performed by Turkey's players during their matches against Albania and France – an apparent show of support for their country's military offensive in Kurdish-held regions in northern Syria.

European football's governing body prohibits provocative political statements inside stadiums.

UEFA said: "An Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector has been appointed to initiate disciplinary investigations with regard to potential provocative political behaviour by players of the national team of the Turkish Football Federation on the occasion of the 2020 European Championship Qualifying Round matches played against the national team of the Football Association of Albania on 11 October 2019 and the national team of the French Football Federation on 14 October 2019, respectively."