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The Daily Bee (October 15th, 2019): A shameful evening for international football

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Racist abuse and fascist salutes from Bulgaria “fans” tarnish a Euro qualifier

Bulgaria v England - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

A Euro qualifier between England and Bulgaria had to be stopped twice because of racist abuse towards England’s black players and fascist salutes from Bulgaria supporters. It was one of the most disappointing and shocking evenings for European football and an absolute disgrace. England ended up winning the game 6:0.

What makes the entire situation worse was Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov’s reaction to the entire situation:

UEFA has to act on the racism problem in European football before it gets completely out of hand. Several leagues and national teams had recent incidents with racist chants and salutes, the respective clubs and FAs need to take action or need to be punished.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov immediately requested Bulgaria’s FA president Borislav Mihaylov to resign. In a Facebook post Borisov wrote:

“I urge Borislav Mihaylov to hand in his resignation immediately! It is inadmissible that Bulgaria... is associated with racism and xenophobia.”

Kerem Demirbay was arguably Bayer Leverkusen’s biggest transfer this summer and has been pretty good for the Werkself this season. What some people probably don’t know is that the central midfielder played for BVB’s youth teams and was close to signing a pro-contract with the black and yellows. In an interview with bayer04.de Demirbay revealed that Jürgen Klopp tried to convince him to join the first team:

“And they put me there a three-year contract as a professional. Jürgen Klopp was at that time the coach at BVB. I remember how he called me into the room to talk and said, ‘Come on, we want you.’ With my mental strength today I would have remained then and tried to fight. But then I was overwhelmed and just not ready to face the big competition. So I took the step to Hamburg, and the further story is well known.”

  • Guerreiro-extension delayed due to “legal formalities” (kicker)

Borussia Dortmund still have not announced Raphael Guerreiro’s contract extension despite Michael Zorc proclaiming a month ago that both parties had a “general agreement”. BVB’s sporting director claimed the Portuguese international was about to sign a new contract until 2023 with only a “few details” to work out.

A few weeks later there is still no official announcement, however according to kicker there is no need to panic. The delay is due to “legal formalities” that will be worked out before the extension is made official.