- Title: Bulgarian President says 'draconian measures' needed after racist chants
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: SOFIA, BULGARIA (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) CRISTIANO GIARETTA, SPORTING DIRECTOR OF CSKA SOFIA FOOTBALL CLUB, WALKING AT CLUB STADIUM CSKA SOFIA CLUB SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (English) CRISTIANO GIARETTA, SPORTING DIRECTOR OF CSKA SOFIA FOOTBALL CLUB, SAYING: "Yes I was really surprised because to be honest even since I got here I never heard this kind of episode in a stadium here in Bulgaria, and to be honest it's a pity for all the country because for me people are not what they are with these days in Europe, but it was only probably 20 or 30 people and it's shameful what happened, so I'm really disappointed about these people and we must do something." MORE OF STADIUM (SOUNDBITE) (English) CRISTIANO GIARETTA, SPORTING DIRECTOR OF CSKA SOFIA FOOTBALL CLUB, SAYING: "It's not a racist country and the demonstration is also speaking about my club CSKA. We have more than 15 foreign players from 12 countries, they are all united and we didn't have any problems with our supporters, they are always on the top supporting the team anywhere and also when we don't have a good result. So to be honest, as I said I'm really surprised about what happened two days ago but we can't speak about some 'fans' because they're not fans and that's why they left the stadium after 30 minutes because a fan never leaves the stadium." PEOPLE IN PARK (SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) STOYAN ATANASOV, PENSIONER, SAYING: "The state should find those people (the hooligans), to punish them accordingly and not to mix the Bulgarian football fans with a small group of people who do not represent the Bulgarian people, nor the normal football fans." MORE OF PEOPLE AT PARK
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 17:52
- Keywords: UEFA Bulgaria England racism Bulgaria President Rumen Radev CSKA Cristiano Giaretta
- Location: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- City: SOFIA, BULGARIA
- Country: Bulgaria
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA005B1CLSNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Bulgarian President Rumen Radev weighed in on Wednesday (October 16) on the fallout from the racist chanting by Bulgarian fans when they hosted England on Monday night.
England thrashed Bulgaria 6-0 to hand them their heaviest ever home defeat as the match was marred by a section of home supporters taunting the visiting players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants.
Bulgarian police said on Wednesday they had detained six people in connection with the racist abuse faced by England's black players during the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia with more arrests likely.
Radev cited the nation's history in helping protect Jews from fascist governments before adding it was time to implement 'draconian measures' to fight back against hooliganism.
The match on Monday at the Vasil Levski stadium was temporarily halted by the Croatian referee under a three-step protocol devised by European soccer governing body UEFA.
Bulgarian soccer chief Borislav Mihaylov and former international goalkeeper resigned on Tuesday.
Mihaylov had previously defended Bulgarian soccer from accusations of racism and criticised England for what he saw as a "fixation" on potential incidents that could raise tension.
The issue has long been a blight on European soccer, with racist incidents during matches reported sporadically and abuse levelled at players on social media.
Cristiano Giaretta, the sporting director of one of Bulgaria's top clubs CSKA Sofia, said he was shocked by the racist abuse, accusing those participating in the behaviour as not being true fans of the sport.
(Production: Miroslav Roussinov)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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