Bulgarian prime minister condemns soccer racism

Bulgarian prime minister condemns soccer racism
England manager Gareth Southgate, third left, speaks with Referee Ivan Bebek during the Euro 2020 group A qualifying soccer match between Bulgaria and England, at the Vasil Levski national stadium, in Sofia, Bulgaria, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has condemned the racist behavior of his country’s soccer fans.

Local fans made Nazi salutes and directed monkey noises at the black players on England’s national team during a European Championship qualifying match. England won 6-0.

Borissov says “it is unacceptable that Bulgaria, one of the most tolerant countries in the world where people of different ethnicities live in peace, to be associated with racism and xenophobia.”

Bulgarian fans have already been sanctioned for other racist abuse in qualifying for Euro 2020 and played the match against England on Monday in a partially closed stadium.

Borissov also called for Bulgarian soccer federation president Borislav Mihailov to resign following a run of poor results, and says he ordered sports minister Krasen Kralev to terminate any relations with Mihailov until he quits.

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