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    Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group A - Bulgaria v England - Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria - October 14, 2019     Stewards and Bulgaria fans during the match. Picture taken October 14, 2019

    Britain Must Apologise for Insulting Our Nation - Bulgarian Attack Party Leader Volen Siderov

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    Six Bulgarian football fans were detained in Sofia on Wednesday for the racial abuse of English players at the Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday, with UEFA announcing an immediate inquiry into the matter and Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov resigning from his post.

    During a protest organised near Bulgarian President Rumen Radev’s residence, Volen Siderov, leader of the Bulgarian nationalist Attack Party, has called on the President to demand an apology from the United Kingdom.

    “I urge you to call for an explanation from the British ambassador and to demand a formal apology from the UK for the insults to the Bulgarian nation and the Bulgarian state because of the football match held on 14 October,” Siderov said during the protest.

    The politician also showed images in which, according to him, the English demonstrate unacceptable salutes.

    “This is the English national team, national football team, that demonstrates the Nazi salute. If Mr. President hasn’t seen this photograph, let him see it. And now I will show you [the photo of] Prince Harry, if I’m not mistaken, one of the heirs to the British throne, who has a Nazi badge on his sleeve. <...> And in the end, the final flourish: the Queen herself demonstrates a Nazi salute as a child. I hope these photos will motivate Mr. President to do what he should do as head of state: to protect the honor and dignity of the nation,” Siderov said, adding that he was also going to organize a protest outside the British embassy.

    Earlier, the party also sharply criticised publications in the British media.

    “World barbarians call us racists and animals! <...> The largest colonizer in history calls us piggies. Those who first built concentration camps dare to offend the heirs of Europe’s oldest nation. The Attack Party says no to that!” the party’s press centre said on Facebook.

    The Attack Party also accused the English fans of showing improper behaviour on the city streets.

    “The Queen’s subjects came and CRAPPED UP the streets of Sofia with their presence and the inability of their own bodies to process Bulgarian beer. The Attack Party says: learn to behave!”

    The party called on the Bulgarians to get rid of the influence of the people who perceive them as “second-grade people, second-grade fans, and first-grade racists.”

    Бойко Борисов
    © RIA Novosti . Alexey Druzhinin
    Boiko Borisov

    Earlier, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov expressed his indignation over publications in the British media, and said that he wouldn’t allow calling Bulgarians “animals”. President Rumen Radev said not to generalise and recalled that during the Second World War, the Bulgarians were engaged in saving Jews.

    According to Bulgarian National Television which refers to the district prosecutor’s office, one of the Bulgaria fans arrested for manifesting racism faces up to five years in prison. 

    In Sofia, nine fans, who shouted racist insults and used Nazi salutes to the English team, were arrested, with 15 in total identified by the police. One of Bulgaria fans arrested for racism may face up to five years in prison, the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported with reference to the district prosecutor’s office.

    According to the TV channel, it was 18-year-old Tsvetan Gachev who initiated the shouting of insults and a Nazi salute at the Bulgaria-England football match. He is expected to be charged today. He already has a criminal record. Another eight detainees face administrative punishment and a fine of about 1,000 and 2,000 levs (about €500-1,000).

    Bulgarian fans react during the Euro 2020 Group A football qualification match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019
    © AFP 2019 / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV
    Bulgarian fans react during the Euro 2020 Group A football qualification match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019

    According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 15 people took part in the offence. Nine were detained, six more are to be questioned, the BNT said.

    The Bulgaria vs England Euro 2020 qualifier match, which was tarnished by the racist scandal, took place in the city of Sofia on Monday. England won 6-0.

    Tags:
    Boiko Borisov, Rumen Radev, racism, football player, football fans, England, Bulgaria
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