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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

England match halted as Bulgaria fans warned for racist behaviour

The Three Lions’ Euro qualifier was stopped twice after abuse was registered from the stands.

Play was stopped twice in the first half.
Play was stopped twice in the first half.

ENGLAND’S FEARS OF racist abuse towards their players were realised during their Euro 2020 qualifying match at Bulgaria on Monday night, with the game temporarily stopped twice in the first half by the match referee following abuse from the stands.

After discussing the matter with Three Lions captain Harry Kane, the match referee requested the following announcement be made over the tannoy: “Because of racist behaviour which is interfering with the game, the referee has indicated he may have to suspend the match.

“Please be in no doubt that the game may be suspended and abandoned if racist behaviour continues.”

England were 2-0 up at the time, following goals from Marcus Rashford and Ross Barkley. Rashford cut inside from the left before firing into the top corner, before Barkley finished off a fine move led by Raheem Sterling. Barkley added a third soon after the match resumed.

A large group of fans wearing black hoodies and with their faces covered were also pictured showing their middle fingers towards the pitch.

England manager Gareth Southgate is reported to have made another complaint to the match officials shortly before half-time, with abuse towards his players continuing after the initial warning on the tannoy.

Southgate’s side currently lead 4-0 at half-time, with Raheem Sterling tapping in from close range in stoppage time to extend the visitors’ lead.

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