Southgate, who plans to consult his players before the Oct. 14 game, said he feared they could face racial abuse in Bulgaria after an away fan allegedly targeted winger Raheem Sterling when the teams met at Wembley last Saturday.

England Manager Gareth Southgate
England Manager Gareth Southgate (David Klein / Reuters)

The president of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) Borislav Mihaylov has expressed his indignation and disappointment over comments by England manager Gareth Southgate about the prospect of racism at next month’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia.

Southgate, who plans to consult his players before the Oct. 14 game, said he feared they could face racial abuse in Bulgaria after an away fan allegedly targeted winger Raheem Sterling when the teams met at Wembley last Saturday.

The FA said an individual was ejected from the stadium for “discriminatory abuse” during England’s 4-0 win.

But in a statement on its website on Friday, the BFU said such concerns were "groundless, inappropriate and unnecessary".

In a letter sent to European soccer’s governing body UEFA and the FA, former Bulgaria goalkeeper Mihaylov said: “We have not received any official information regarding discriminatory language used by a Bulgarian supporter at Wembley Stadium.

“Even if this were the case, however, we believe that generalisations and the creation of needless tension by official members of the English team is absolutely unacceptable and in contradiction with the spirit of mutual respect and fair play, the core values of both UEFA and the BFU.”

Source: Reuters