The punishment dished out to the Bulgarian Football Association on the back of the disgraceful actions of a small section of the country’s fans during their meeting with England earlier this month has this evening been confirmed.
England run riot
Gareth Southgate’s men visited the Stadion Vasil Levski a little over 2 weeks ago, for their latest Euro 2020 qualifier.
England headed into proceedings in search of an immediate bounce-back result, on the back of their first defeat in a qualifying fixture in 10 years the week prior.
The Three Lions were put to the sword by 2 goals to 1 by the Czech Republic, a result which saw the victors join England atop the Group A table (albeit with the Czechs having played a game more).
When all was said and done in Sofia, though, the visitors bounced back, and in style.
A blitzing opening 45 minutes saw England put the result beyond any shadow of doubt before the half-time whistle had even blown.
Ross Barkley proved the star of the early exchanges, notching 2 goals and an assist, with Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling having also been on target.
Sterling then added his 2nd 20 minutes from time, before Harry Kane capped a comprehensive win for the Three Lions in the 85th-minute.
However, while the Three Lions’ impressive display and 3-point haul should obviously have been the main talking point surrounding events in Sofia, this proved far from the case.
Unfortunately, the headlines were stolen by a small section of the Bulgarian crowd.
The individuals in question first targeted a number of England’s stars, in particular Tyrone Mings, with racist chants and monkey noises, amid truly testing circumstances for the visitors:
The abuse of Tyrone Mings from supporters in the home section is disgraceful and clearly audible. Has to be time for step two of the Uefa protocol. #kickitout
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 14, 2019
— BeanymanSports (@BeanymanSports) October 14, 2019
The immediate backlash across the globe in response to the troubling events at the Stadion Vasil Levski was understandably intense, with fans, players and complete neutrals alike having been intently awaiting UEFA’s verdict.
And, following 2 weeks of negotiations, European football’s governing body have this evening finally confirmed the sanctions handed down.
As per the BBC, Blugaria have been slapped with a €75,000 fine.
In addition, the country will play their next two fixtures behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance:
Bulgaria will have to play two matches behind closed doors and pay a five-figure fine for their fans’ racist abuse of England players in a Euro 2020 qualifier.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 29, 2019