The president of the Bulgarian Football Association has resigned from his position after England’s black players were subjected to shocking racist chants and monkey noises in Sofia on Monday night.
The news comes just hours after the prime minister of Bulgaria had demanded that the FA chief steps down, announcing that the government would freeze all relations with the Bulgarian FA – including denying them any funding – until Borislav Mihaylov was gone.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian FA’s offices have been raided by 30 uniformed officers from the country’s State Security Council, sportal.bg reports. The purpose of the operation is yet to be announced.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin also spoke out on Tuesday, urging the ‘football family’ to ‘wage war on the racists’ following the abuse suffered by the likes of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford on Monday.
Calls from the prime minister on Tuesday were welcomed by England star Sterling after he and his team-mates were subjected to Nazi salutes and monkey noises at the match in the Bulgarian capital.
And now it has been confirmed that Mihaylov is no longer in his position. A statement from the BFU read: ‘Today the Bulgarian FA president Borislav Mihaylov has resigned from his position – his letter of resignation will be presented to the members of the FA’s Executive Committee at this Friday’s meeting, DailyMail reports.
“It comes after the pressure that has been generated over the past few days; a situation that is not positive for Bulgarian football or the Football Union itself. After so many years in the position and because of his network of international contacts, Mr Mihaylov has said he is ready to continue helping Bulgarian football to develop in any way possible.”
UEFA president Ceferin, meanwhile, also provided a robust response to the racism in Sofia in a statement of his own.
He blamed a rise in nationalism across Europe for fuelling racism at matches and said the governing body was committed to eradicating the ‘disease’ from football.
‘Believe me, UEFA is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate this disease from football. We cannot afford to be content with this, we must always strive to strengthen our resolve.