International

Bulgarian football federation raided after England racism storm

2019-10-15 18:39
Unite against racism (AFP Photo)

Sofia  - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Tuesday that a raid of the Bulgarian Football Union came amid an investigation into corruption at the organisation, not after racism directed at England players in a Euro 2020 qualifier.

The swoop conducted by police, the anti-organised crime unit and the tax administration was revealed just hours after the BFU's head Borislav Mihaylov resigned over racist chants that marred Bulgaria's defeat to England.

Local media had reported earlier that the raid was conducted as part of a months-long probe into the work of the BFU's refereeing committee.

"What they are doing here -- not obeying the laws, rigging games and fixing referee assignments to matches -- we won't put up with this," said Borisov, who also ordered a financial audit of the BFU.

Allegations about the rigging of domestic games have long been rife in Bulgaria. The practice was made punishable by law in 2011 but no major convictions have been made since.

According to Bulgarian media, 30 specialised prosecutors, anti-organised crime officers and police entered the headquarters of the BFU on the outskirts of Sofia, conducting searches and confiscating documents.

Special prosecution spokesman Bozhidar Dimitrov had earlier confirmed the raid to AFP but gave no further details, while media reported that five officials had also been taken in for questioning.

Earlier Tuesday, Mihaylov caved in to pressure to resign after monkey noises and apparent Nazi salutes from some of the crowd forced Monday's 6-0 defeat to England to be halted twice in the first half.

The abuse directed at England's black players overshadowed the match and caused an international uproar.

Read more on:    england  |  bulgaria  |  euro 2020 qualifiers  |  soccer

 

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