Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov quits after racist abuse at England game

18 October 2019, 15:28 | Updated: 18 October 2019, 17:16

Bulgaria's manager has resigned after a Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia had to be paused twice due to racist abuse by home fans directed at England players.

Sky Sports News said Krasimir Balakov resigned on Friday afternoon.

His resignation came despite an interview with Sky Sports News after the game on Monday in which he said he did not hear the abuse and would only apologise if European football governing body UEFA proved there had been discriminatory abuse.

The match in the capital was temporarily halted twice after England players were subjected to monkey chants and Nazi salutes by Bulgaria supporters during the game which the visitors won 6-0.

UEFA charged the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) on Tuesday with four offences: racist behaviour, the throwing of objects, disruption of the national anthem and replays on a giant screen.

The English FA also had two charges brought against it: disruption of the national anthem and an insufficient number of travelling stewards.

On Tuesday, police raided the headquarters of the Bulgarian Football Union (FU) and its president, Borislav Mihaylov, resigned from his post after being ordered to by the country's prime minister, Boyko Borissov.

The entire Bulgarian FU executive committee has also resigned in solidarity with Mr Mihaylov, Sky Sports News said.

That leaves Bulgarian football with nobody in a position of responsibility or to run its domestic and international games.

Five more Bulgarian football fans were detained on Friday over the racist abuse, after six were detained on Wednesday.

One, aged 18, has been charged with "grave hooliganism" and could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The interior ministry said police have identified 16 people so far believed to have taken part in the racist abuse.

Monday's game was played in a partially-closed stadium as punishment for racist chanting by fans during a match against Kosovo in June.