Sheffield Wednesday superfan Tango sends message to UEFA after England players racially abused in Bulgaria
Sheffield Wednesday superfan Tango said the racism towards England players in Sofia was ‘as bad as it’s ever been’.
England’s Euro 2020 6-0 qualifying win over Bulgaria was marred by racist chanting and gestures made by home supporters throughout the match.
The match was halted twice in the first half with fans warned about racist behaviour.
A stadium announced first condemned the abuse and stated the match would be abandoned if it continue before the game was stopped again in the 43rd minute.
England manager Gareth Southgate held discussions with officials over the racist abuse but the match eventually restarted and was completed in full.
Tango, real name Paul Gregory, was in the Sofia stands to watch England ease to victory and said the abuse lasted from the warm-up until the final whistle.
The Sheffield Wednesday superfan, who travels home and away with England, has called on UEFA to take strong action against the racist chanting.
He said: “It’s just an absolute disgrace and there’s no place for it in football. I know England supporters sometimes get a bad press but this was utterly disgusting.
“It was shocking to hear it and it was really awful as the players walked off before half time.
“In the past, incidents like these have been tucked under the carpet but UEFA have to act on this. There’s no way that this horrible racism can continue.”
England decided at half-time to play the remainder of the game as braces from Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling and goals for Marcus Rashford and Kane ensured a thumping win for the visitors.
UEFA rules appear to indicate that the punishment for Bulgaria would be to play their next home match behind closed doors, but there is likely to be huge pressure for the sanctions to be more severe than that.
Anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out called for a points deduction to be imposed or for Bulgaria to be expelled from the competition.
“I think it’s as bad as it’s ever been. The stadium was even half empty, I dread to think what it would have been like with a full ground,” Tango continued.
“I thought it was a very professional performance from England. The fans were kept in until quarter past midnight, it was very intimidating but thankfully we were all able to stick together.
“It’s got to be stamped out. It happened right the way through the game and UEFA have to act.”