Bulgaria v England: Euro 2020 Qualifier Temporarily Halted Due To Racist Behaviour From Fans

England’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Bulgaria in Sofia was temporarily halted twice in the first half with fans warned about racist behaviour.

The first pause came in the 28th minute with England leading 2-0.

A stadium announcement then condemned the abuse before stating the match would be abandoned if it continued.

However, the game was stopped again in the 43rd minute before restarting after discussions between the referee and England manager Gareth Southgate.

The Levski Stadium was subject to a partial closure for this match after Bulgaria were sanctioned for racist chanting during qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

Uefa has a three-step protocol in place for dealing with racism at matches.

For the first step, the referee will speak to the stadium announcer and demand the halting of racist behaviour.

If it continues, the referee can take the players off the field into the dressing rooms for a period of time and the stadium announcer will make another address. If it still continues, the match will be abandoned.

Southgate held a meeting with his players in the build-up to the game to underline the Uefa protocol in dealing with such incidents – but the subject has provoked an angry response from the Bulgarian football authorities.

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