England Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia halted twice over racist abuse

England manager Gareth Southgate alerts Uefa officials to chanting by Bulgaria’s home fans

England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia came close to being abandoned after home fans repeatedly racially abused Tyrone Mings and other black players.

The referee, Ivan Bebek, first stopped play at the Vasil Levski Stadium in the 27th minute on Monday night when the visitors were already 2-0 up after the England manager, Gareth Southgate, alerted Uefa officials to what appeared to be monkey chants coming from the far side of the ground. Aston Villa defender Mings, who was making his international debut, appeared to be the main target but there was also consistent booing of Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.

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