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Bulgaria-England clash halted twice due to racism

Bulgaria-England clash stopped twice in first-half due to racism

October 14, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The two of UEFA's three-step protocol were triggered in effect.

The UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying game between Bulgaria and England was halted twice in the first half due to racist abuse. Referee of the match, Ivan Bebek, was forced to trigger the first two steps of UEFA's three-step protocol as a result of the happening in Monday's encounter inside the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia.

The match-up was primarily dominated by England from the onset with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in the seventh-minute with a stunning effort. 13 minutes later, Ross Barkley doubled the lead for the Three Lions aided by Raheem Sterling.

However, the proceeding was called to a halt for the first time in the 28th-minute with a stadium announcement bringing to light the racist behavior of fans. The announcer condemned the act and before making it clear that the match could be abandoned should the racism continue.

"Because of racist behaviour which is interfering with the game, the referee has indicated he may have to suspend the match," he declared.

"Please be in no doubt that the game may be suspended and abandoned if racist behaviour continues."


In the 43rd-minute, the game was stopped once again and was only resumed after a discussion between the referee and England boss Gareth Southgate. Prior to the Monday's qualifying clash, there were rising concerns in the camp of England as players feared that they could be subjected to racial abuse.

However, in the buildup to the encounter a number of players as well as the team's manager stated that they were more than eager to walk off should the trend continue in-game.

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