Thursday , November 7 2019

Raheem Sterling calls out Bulgaria coach after racist chanting in UEFA 2020 qualifier

‘Not sure about this one chief’: Raheem Sterling calls out Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov for saying England have a bigger racism problem than his own country

  • England players were subjected to racist abuse during their 6-0 win in Sofia
  • There had been lots of talk in the build up regarding the possibility of racism
  • Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov said that England has a greater racism problem
  • The game was almost abandoned as Sterling, Mings and Rashford were abused 
  • Sterling scored twice and hit out at Balakov’s comments after the game 

England forward Raheem Sterling has hit out at Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov for remarks made before Monday night’s 6-0 win in Sofia. 

The build up to the game centered on the possibility of racist abuse being hurled from the stands by Bulgarian supporters, with coaches from both sides having their say on the issue. 

The game was called to a halt in the first half after Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Marcus Rashford were subjected to racist abuse from the stands. The game was then stopped for a second time and the threat of abandonment was very real – as is UEFA protocol.  

Raheem Sterling has hit out at Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov for remarks made on racism

Sterling scored twice as England stormed to victory on a night where football came second

Sterling scored twice as England stormed to victory on a night where football came second

The scenes in Monday night’s game only served to highlight further the remarkable comments made by Balakov before the game, where the coach said that he believed there was no problem with racism in his country.  

‘What I can say is that I don’t think we have a problem,’ he said.

‘In the Bulgarian championship, we have a lot of players of different ethnicities and skin colour. I don’t think that we have this big problem like, for example, England do.’ 

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings told an assistant referee that he heard racist abuse

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings told an assistant referee that he heard racist abuse

Asked to clarify his remark on England, Balakov said: ‘What I meant was that in the Bulgarian championship we’ve not had such problems.

‘While there have been incidents in various levels of English football involving racism, which I consider something normal because it’s a big country with a very diverse population.

‘But we don’t have this problem in Bulgaria, I can assure you of that.’

Sterling, posting to Twitter, responded to those comments by saying: ‘Mmmmh … Not sure about this one chief.’

Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov had said that English football has a bigger racism problem

Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov had said that English football has a bigger racism problem

The Manchester City star went on to share his thoughts on a night that was marred by the behaviour of those in the stands. 

‘Feeling sorry for Bulgaria to be represented by such idiots in their stadium,’ he said. ‘Anyway.. 6-0 and we go back home, at least we did our job. Safe travel to our fans, u guys did well’.

England need one more point to secure qualification for next summer’s European Championships.