October 29, 2019 / 3:36 PM / 18 days ago

Bulgaria to play one game behind closed doors over England racism - UEFA

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 Host Announcement - Nyon, Switzerland - September 27, 2018 UEFA Executive Committee Member Borislav Mihaylov during the UEFA Executive Committee meeting ahead of the EURO2024 Host Announcement Harold Cunningham/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - Bulgaria will play their next competitive home match behind closed doors and pay a 75,000 euro ($83,000) fine, European soccer’s ruling body UEFA ruled, after finding some of their supporters guilty of racist abuse of England players.

England’s 6-0 win over Bulgaria in the Euro 2020 qualifier played in Sofia on Oct. 14 was halted twice after fans taunted visiting black players with Nazi salutes and monkey chants.

Since the incident, Bulgaria Football Union (BFU) president Borislav Mihaylov and team head coach Krasimir Balakov have resigned, and authorities have identified 16 suspects and made 12 arrests.

The sanction will affect Bulgaria’s qualifier against the Czech Republic on Nov. 17.

UEFA also imposed a further one-match stadium ban, suspended for two years and ordered the BFU to display a banner with words “No to Racism” with a UEFA logo on it.

Bulgaria was also fined a further 10,000 euros for causing disturbance during the national anthem, with England to pay 5,000 euros for the same offence.

(The story corrects match date to Oct. 14 in second para)

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet

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