Players union FIFPro urges East European bodies: stamp out racism

Disgraceful. FIFPro has no other words to describe the behavior displayed by Bulgarian fans during the match against England last Friday. The World Players’ Union demands that the national football authorities of Bulgaria stamp out this racist fans’ attitude.England beat Bulgaria 3-0 in Sofia, last Friday. But much of the talk afterwards has been about the vile racist abuse from a group of Bulgarian fans. They targeted Ashley Young (Manchester United) and Theo Walcott (Arsenal), two black players from England. They were taunted with monkey chants and Nazi salutes.’It was very clear’, Theo Walcott said after the game. ‘I ignored it. I don’t want to comment too much. The result was the important thing.’ His team mate Wayne Rooney added: ‘We could hear it on the pitch. It needs to stop and hopefully something will be done about it.’Indeed, it needs to stop, says Tony Higgins, spokesman for FIFPro Division Europe. ‘Yet again players have to suffer the indignity of being racially abused in Eastern Europe.’‘The rise of football in this region is positive with the European Championships in 2012 and the World Cup in 2018 being played there in the next few years. But with this football development come responsibilities that include the right of professional footballers to work in a racist free environment.’‘The governing bodies in this part of Europe must make far greater efforts to confront this cancer in our game if they wish to be considered for club and international football tournaments.’ 

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