English players suffer racism in Bulgaria as England trash host 6-0
England bounced back from their first tournament qualifying defeat for 10 years with a 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria on Monday in Sofia in a Euro 2020 Group A clash which was marred by racist incidents in the first half.
The match at the Vasil Levski stadium was temporarily halted by the referee in the first half under a three-step UEFA protocol to tackle racist abuse from the crowd.
Bulgaria has been a culprit of racism in soccer and this latest incident, pundits say, will draw the wrath of both UEFA and FIFA both of which preach zero tolerance of racism.
Racist chants were heard from the stands and reported by England players to manager Gareth Southgate, with the referee informed and a public announcement made on two occasions.
On the pitch, England midfielder Ross Barkley netted twice after Marcus Rashford had opened the scoring in the seventh minute.
Southgate’s side highlighted the gap in quality with the hosts before Raheem Sterling struck just before half-time.
England’s comfortable victory was rounded off by Sterling’s second goal midway through the second half.
And a cool finish from captain Harry Kane five minutes from the end inflicted on Bulgaria their heaviest-ever home defeat.
England, who moved closer to a place at Euro 2020, are top with 15 points from six games.
They are three ahead of the Czech Republic and four in front of Kosovo who beat Montenegro 2-0.