SOFIA – Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov and several of his players said they did not hear any racist abuse directed towards the England team on Monday during their side's 6-0 defeat in a Euro 2020 qualifier that was twice halted by the referee.
England thrashed Bulgaria in the Group A qualifier to hand the hosts their heaviest ever home defeat but the game will be remembered more for the racist incidents that led to the game being temporarily stopped in the first half.
"It's a very delicate subject," said former midfielder Balakov, part of the Bulgaria side that reached the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, who has accused England of having a bigger racism problem than his own country.
"I do not think there is a single person in Bulgaria who would say that racism is something pleasant. But at the same time, it is very strange how this topic is interpreted in football. I have heard absolutely nothing (during the game)."
Most of the Bulgaria players said they had not heard any abuse of the England team, with keeper Plamen Iliev saying: "The crowd was behaving well, I have not heard any insults."