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15 Oct, 2019 13:24

Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov QUITS after racism mars Bulgaria vs England Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia

Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov QUITS after racism mars Bulgaria vs England Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia

President of the Bulgarian Football Union and former 1994 World Cup semi-final goalkeeper Borislav Mihaylov has left his post after being called to resign by the country's prime minister, according to Reuters.

Mihaylov stepped down as president of the Bulgarian Football Union following ugly scenes that marred Bulgaria's home UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier with England.

Also on rt.com 'Disgraceful behavior': Bulgaria vs England UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier interrupted by repeated racist chants by fans

Fans were captured on cameras and pitchside microphones hurling racist abuse at England's black players and making Nazi salutes from the stands during the match, which England won 6-0.

Prime minister Boyko Borissov said Mihaylov, who was one of the stars of Bulgaria's 1994 World Cup semi-final team, should step down from his post following the match, which was twice stopped by the referee as the officials attempted to address the abuse being chanted from the stands.

"I urge Borislav Mihaylov to immediately resign as president of the Bulgarian Football Union!" Borissov posted on Facebook as footage of Bulgarian fans racially abusing England players went viral around the world during the match.

"It is unacceptable for Bulgaria, which is one of the most tolerant countries in the world, and people of different ethnicities and religions live in peace, to be associated with racism and xenophobia."

England forward Raheem Sterling was on the victims of the racist abuse from the stands, and applauded the prime minister's sentiments, tweeting: "A good move credits to you M. Borissov."

The country's sports minister Krasen Kralev also stated that the Bulgarian government would suspend its relations with the Bulgarian Football Union, including pulling the plug on any financial ties between the government BFU.

Also on rt.com From World Cup heroes to racism deniers: Why Bulgaria's 'Class of 1994' quartet has shamed their nation

Initially, Borissov's call for Mihaylov's resignation was met with refusal by the BFU, whose spokesman Hristo Zapryanov stated: "Of course he would not resign.

"The state has no right to demand that and interfere in football.

"The (Bulgarian) Football Union cannot be held responsible for the hooliganism of a group of people."

Zapryanov went on to state that the BFU executive committee would meet on Friday, where Mihaylov would issue a statement.

But it seems matters have escalated quickly since the BFU's statement of defiance, with a subsequent BFU statement confirming Mihaylov's departure.

"Today, the president of the Bulgarian Football Union Borislav Mihailov submitted his resignation, which will be presented to the members of the Executive Committee at the meeting on Friday," the statement read.

"His position is a consequence of recent tensions: an environment that is detrimental to Bulgarian football and the Bulgarian Football Union.

"After many years spent in the post and with his many contacts at a high international level, Mr. Mihaylov expresses his firm readiness to continue to help the development of Bulgarian football in every way possible."