BULGARIA coach Krasimir Balakov has sensationally claimed he didn’t hear any racist abuse in Sofia – and that the noise was “unhappy” fans.
Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings were subjected to disgusting racism in a 6-0 win on Monday night, where fans directed monkey chants and Nazi salutes in their direction.
Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov has sensationally claimed he didnt hear any racist abuse
The game was stopped TWICE in the first half as England players and manager Gareth Southgate informed the referee and then the Uefa delegate.
An announcement went around the stadium, a large group of fans were ordered to leave and Bulgarian captain Ivelin Popov pleaded with supporters to stop the chants.
Balakov could be seen talking with England players during the stoppage, presumably about the racist chanting.
But after the game, Balakov still insisted he was not aware of any chanting.
He said: “It is probably because the fans were unhappy with the way the team was performing.
“I personally did not hear the chanting.”
Balakov then went on to criticise England fans.
“I saw that the referee stopped the game but I also have to say that the unacceptable behaviour was not only on the part of the Bulgaria but also the England fans who were whistling and shouting during the national anthem,” he added.
“In the second half they were using words against our fans that I find unacceptable.
“To be honest this has not happened to us before (the measures taken by Uefa were not from racist chanting but because of a banner) we’ve had this problem ever since England were coming to Bulgaria.
Bulgarian fans were seen doing Nazi salutes during England’s 6-0 win
Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings were subjected to vile monkey chants
“For three weeks all we’ve heard people talking about is anything else but football and I don’t think this is the proper manner in which to prepare for and play a football game.
“If this turns out to be true we are truly sorry and we as the Bulgarian national team and Bulgarian Football Union are working very hard and nobody wants to see this, but let me tell you that this has never happened in our games until now and it happens now in the England game.
“If something happens to be proven we are sorry but we cannot speak on behalf of some fans.”