UPDATE: UEFA attacked for ‘lenient’ punishment following racism during England-Bulgaria match
During the match in Sofia on 14 October, a number of Bulgarian fans were seen making Nazi salutes while some made monkey chants.
The match was stopped twice, but the England players chose to finish the game.
As punishment, Bulgaria was ordered to play two matches behind closed doors and pay a fine of £64,000.
They have also been placed on two years probation. If the incident re-occurs, Bulgaria faces the risk of being suspended for a longer period of time.
In addition, one Bulgarian fan was placed on a lifetime ban.
But some anti-racist organizations feel the punishment was not enough. Anti-racism organization, Kick It Out has said they are ‘disheartened, not surprised’.
“In our view, they have missed an opportunity to send an uncompromising message on racism and discrimination.
“The current sanctions, however ‘tough’ UEFA think they may be, are clearly not working and leave victims with little faith in their ability to prevent abusive behaviour.”
The Fare group, UEFA’s anti-racism partner, said: “We are disappointed that Bulgaria will not be expelled from the Euro 2020 qualifying competition given their previous record, and obvious inability to deal with the problems they face.”
Despite the abuse, England’s team won 6-0.
Following the match, both the Bulgaria football federation head, Borislav Mihaylov, and the national team head coach Krasimir Balakov resigned from their posts.
This comes after football legend, Yaya Toure spoke about the issue, saying FIFA does not care about racism in football.