The president of the Bulgaria Football Union, Borislav Mihaylov, has resigned. Bulgaria Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for him to quit on Tuesday after the racist abuse of England players in the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia. Monday’s match, which England won 6-0, was stopped twice because of racist behaviour by home fans, which included Nazi salutes and monkey chants.
The BFU said the move “is a consequence of the recent tensions” but did not mention racism in their statement. The statement said the tensions had created “an environment that is detrimental to Bulgarian football and the Bulgarian Football Union”. It added that “Mihaylov expresses his firm readiness to continue helping in the development of Bulgarian football in every possible way”. Earlier on Tuesday, the Bulgaria prime minister “strongly condemned” the fans’ behaviour and called for Mihaylov to resign “immediately”. “After yesterday’s shameful loss of the Bulgarian National Team and given the bad results of our football, I ordered to end any relationship with BFU, including financial, until the withdrawal of Borislav Mihaylov from the post,” he added. Before the match, Mihaylov had complained to UEFA about “unjust branding” after the build-up was overshadowed by fears England’s players could be subjected to abuse. The Vasil Levski Stadium was already subject to a partial closure for the match after Bulgaria were sanctioned for racist behaviour during Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic. Mihaylov, a former Reading goalkeeper, played at three World Cups for Bulgaria and has been member of UEFA’s executive committee since 2011. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the “football family and governments” need to “wage war on the racists”, after the abuse of England players. UEFA said any action in response to Monday’s events would have to follow on from a disciplinary committee, which in turn has to wait for a referee’s report. Anti-discriminatory body Fare has called for Bulgaria to be expelled from the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.