Uefa to investigate ‘racist abuse’ of England players

Governing body to study official reports after alleged racist chanting from some fans during Friday's game

theo walcott
Walcott said he tried to ignore the abuse during the game Photo: The Sport Review

theo walcott

Uefa has confirmed it will investigate the alleged racist abuse directed towards England’s Ashley Young and Theo Walcott by sections of Bulgarian supporters during Friday’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia.

The FA made an official complaint to the governing body’s match delegate after the 3-0 victory over Bulgaria.

“Uefa are aware of the situation. We will study the reports, including the delegate’s report, on Monday,” said a Uefa spokesman.

Arsenal forward Walcott confirmed he had heard racist chanting during the clash at the Vasil Levski Stadium.

“I was aware. It was very clear,” said the 23-year-old. “I ignored it, but that is me. I think the FA will deal with that and I don’t want to comment. The result tonight was the important thing.”

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney scored twice in Sofia to help his side move top of their qualifying group – and the England forward called on Uefa to act over the abuse

“We could hear it on the pitch,” said Rooney. “It has been going on for years and it’s not right. It needs to stop and hopefully something will be done about it.”

Bulgaria head coach Lothar Matthaus apologised for the conduct of the home fans after the match, though he admitted he had not heard the racist abuse himself.

“It is very pitiful for such things to happen,” the German said. “Because of that I would like to apologise on behalf of the Bulgarian Football Federation.”

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