The Players Football Association (PFA) has called for UEFA to impose tougher sanctions in order to tackle racism. The comments came after UEFA's fine on Bulgaria after the country's football association failed to take preventive actions during the recently concluded Bullgaria-England match, which was marred by racist incidents.
PFA released a statement wherein they said, "The PFA is disappointed at the sanctions announced today, levied by UEFA towards Bulgaria in the wake of the disgraceful racist incidents witnessed two weeks ago. While the sanctions are in line with current UEFA disciplinary guidelines, this only serves to highlight that these guidelines need to be overhauled and far stronger deterrents imposed - not ruling out expulsions from competitions. Only then can the issue of racism be seriously confronted. In addition, there is currently no BAME representation on UEFA’s Control, Ethics, and Disciplinary Committee. This lack of diversity, we believe, will influence the way in which racist incidents are dealt with by the panel. Diversity on the pitch must be reflected at every level of the game, not just on the field of play."
The PFA is disappointed at the sanctions announced today, levied by UEFA towards Bulgaria in the wake of the disgraceful racist incidents witnessed two weeks ago.— PFA | Professional Footballers' Association (@PFA) October 29, 2019
Full Statement: https://t.co/8DVmLW6lnH
Earlier on Tuesday, the UEFA fined the Bulgarian Football Union €75,000 and given a two-match stadium ban, one suspended for two years. UEFA said that the ruling was in accordance with the guidelines and the regulations of the governing body. On October 14, England went to Bulgaria to play a EURO 2020 Qualifier amidst rising tensions in relation to racist behaviour by the supporters. The match went on as usual, however, it was stopped twice because the players were subjected to racism. The English team - players and the coaching staff followed the protocol and took the issue to the officials during the game. The players and coach decided to continue the game and not abandon the game. England defeated Bulgaria 6-0 in the match, but there was a huge outcry and anger over the behaviours of the Bulgarian supporters who even showed the 'Nazi salute' from the stands.
The outrage grew after the national team coach, Krasimir Balakov, in the post-match press conference, said that he was not aware of any such incident and that 'if' there is evidence then there should be fines. The Bulgaria Football Union head, Borislav Mihaylov was not compliant as well. However, the growing outrage was noticed by the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov who took matters into his own hands and asked Mihaylov to resign. Mihaylov and Krasimir Balakov both resigned soon after. Georgi Dermendzhiev is the new Bulgarian team's coach.