President Radev: Bulgarian Football Managed the Same Way as the State
ESD 14:53:01 16-10-2019
109 POLITICS - SPORTS - FOOTBALL MATCH SCANDAL
President Radev: Bulgarian Football
Managed the Same Way
as the State
Sofia, October 16 (BTA) - Approached for comment on Tuesday's resignation of Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) President Borislav Minaylov under pressure from the Prime Minister amid a racism scandal following a Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England, President Rumen Radev told journalists that Bulgarian football is managed the same way as the State currently is, and Tuesday's events prove it. Radev described as unprecendented the State's interference "in a crude and unacceptable manner into a federation completely independent from it".
The BFU was also raided by law enforcers on Tuesday following remarks by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov that the Union "will be probed for violations". BFU offices in Sofia's Boyana neighbourhood were raided and searched by officers of the Directorate General for Organized Crime Control, the specialized prosecution office and the police.
In Radev's words, it is presumptuous of the powerholders to demand Mihaylov resignation over racist acts of football fans, because no federation bears responsibility for fans' behaviour, has protective and investigative functions, and cannot assume the role of the State and law enforcement authorities.
According to the President, the State has to take draconian measures against football hooliganism. However, as long as politicians are tempted to use football fans in protests and counter-protests, such relapses will continue, he added.
Later on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov described as nagging President Radev's statement that Bulgarian football is managed the same way as the State. Was Bulgarian football better during the governments of former PMs Sergei Stanishev or that of Plamen Oresharski, Karakachanov asked rhetorically.
Karakachanov commented that Nazi salutes and behaviour or any kind of vandal acts during not just football matches but also at other public events, should be condemned. Asked if he would insist on harsher sanctions against football hooliganism, the Deputy PM said he has always insisted on such sanctions but against all law breakers, such as, in his words, environmentalists who block roads and stop the economic development of entire regions.
Six persons have been detained for indecent actions during Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England in Sofia, said Chief Commissioner Georgi Hadzhiev, head of the Sofia Department of the Interior, as quoted by the Interior Ministry's press centre.
Fifteen participants in the illegal acts on the stadium have been identified. Data have been collected about anti-social acts by nine of them. The police are searching for three persons, and two have been informed they must give statements at the police station.
The police are working on collecting evidence against six other persons.
"We do not tolerate such behaviour. All violators of the public order will be called to the police stations and some of them will be detained," Chief Commissioner Hadzhiev said.