ZURICH – UEFA needs more help from governments to eliminate racism from football, its president Aleksander Ceferin said on Tuesday, after England's black players were subjected to monkey chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.
European soccer's ruling body also confirmed in a later statement that it would open disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria for racist behaviour, including Nazi salutes and chants, and against England for not providing enough travelling stewards.
The game, won 6-0 by England on Monday, was twice halted in the first half and a public announcement was made under UEFA's three-step protocol for dealing with racist incidents during matches.
“Football associations themselves cannot solve this problem,” Ceferin said in a UEFA statement. “Governments too need to do more in this area. Only by working together in the name of decency and honour will we make progress.”
Slovenian Ceferin said the rise of nationalism across Europe had “fuelled some unacceptable behaviour and some have taken it upon themselves to think that a football crowd is the right place to give voice to their appalling views”.