April 7, 2020
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Bulgarian officials confirm 16 people have been arrested after racist abuse of England players

 Five more men have been arrested over the racist behaviour which marred England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria on Monday night  The five men were detained at the First District police station in Sofia while a further five were searched at a different precinct in the Bulgarian capital, taking the total number identified to 16, a spokeswoman for the ministry of the interior has confirmed  , with four already having been banned from attending any sporting event for the next two years and fined 1,000 lev (around £440) One individual faces a pre-trial hearing on Friday and could be remanded in custody  The ministry spokeswoman said the search to identify further individuals continues  England’s black players were targeted for racial abuse throughout the match on Monday night  The referee initiated the first step of UEFA’s anti-racism protocol just before the half-hour mark by asking for a public address announcement in the stadium ordering the racist behaviour to stop  The abuse continued and although there was a short stoppage just before half-time, the game was completed with England winning 6-0  The Bulgarian Football Union, which is holding a press conference on Friday afternoon following the resignation of its president Borislav Mihaylov on Tuesday, has been charged by European football’s governing body UEFA over the racist behaviour of its fans The case will be heard on October 28.   Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confidence in UEFA to deal with the racism experienced in Bulgaria at the start of the week  Under UEFA regulations, the BFU could face a full ground closure for their next competitive home match and a fine of 50,000 euros  “I think firstly we need to be confident in the responsibility UEFA has to improve the situation and to finish with racism,” Emery said  “Really, I know it’s not easy but I think they are going to do that and we need to also be strong in helping them We were speaking about it two months ago and it’s the same. UEFA has to be strong to finish action like that  “The responsibility is to all of us. We all have individual responsibility to be strong (when there is) unacceptable behaviour in that situation and to help everyone to finish that ”

David Frank