Bulgaria handed stadium ban for racist incidents vs. England

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UEFA have issued a two-game stadium ban to Bulgaria — one of which has been suspended for two years — after their fans were found guilty of racially abusing England’s players in their EURO 2020 qualifiers earlier this month.

[ MORE: Racist abuse in Bulgaria

The governing body of European soccer announced the sanctions on Tuesday, with many believing the punishment against the Bulgarian Football Union wasn’t strong enough. It means they will play their qualifier against the Czech Republic next month in an empty stadium.

Bulgaria were also fined $83,700 and in their next two home games they have to hold up banners saying “No to Racism” with the UEFA logo on it.

The qualifying game against England was stopped twice in the first half with a stadium announcement made as the referee threatened to abandon the game after using Step One of UEFA’s protocol during a racist incident.

Racist chanting and Nazi salutes were made by a section of Bulgaria’s fans, while banners saying “No respect, UEFA” were held up. The stadium in Sofia was already partially closed due to previous incidents of racism during games involving the national team.

Bulgaria’s fans have now been found guilty of racially abusing opposition players in three of their EURO 2020 qualifiers.