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Nick Potts/PA Wire
UK News

Sports chaplain calls for tougher sanctions after racism overshadows England v Bulgaria match

by Tola Mbakwe

European football's governing body is facing pressure to punish "abhorrent" racist abuse.

It comes after racist chants were directed towards England's footballers during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria on Monday night.

Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling were targeted by some home supporters in Sofia who were making monkey chants and Nazi salutes.

The match was suspended twice during the first half to warn the crowd about their behaviour.

Pastoral director of Sports Chaplaincy UK, Christian Wienkamp, told Premier it was tough to view.

"It was it was terrible to watch," he said. "There's no place for it in football or society in general. I thought that the England team handled it with great dignity and determination. I don't think anyone deserves to be discriminated against, whatever the situation or the workplace is. It was very tough to watch."

England had a 6-0 victory over their hosts.

Downing Street said the abuse received by England's footballers in Bulgaria last night was "vile". Boris Johnson wants UEFA to come up with a "real deterrent" to combat the problem.

Wienkamp told Premier he hopes UEFA takes a strong enough stance in the situation.  

"I think in order to stamp out racism in the world of sport and in society, there needs to be so sanctions and I think UEFA and the world governing bodies have to do all that they can to make sure that this is no longer part of the world of sport.

"I think it's about coming together as footballing nations and really agree on how can we really fight this to the extreme and how can we get rid of this in the world of sport."

While Bulgaria's prime minister has demanded the head of the country's football union resigns,  UEFA said it'll consider the observations of match officials, before launching an investigation into the abuse.

Listen Premier's Tola Mbakwe speaking with Weinkamp here:

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