England considered after suffering abuse walking has been confessed by gareth Southgate but says make a stand in their own Euro 2020 qualifier and his players were determined to remain on.
The match was marred by the torrent of abuse directed with the game halted during the first half although 6-0 winners in Sofia ran out.
The players had been eager to complete the half and have the discussion during half time, supported Southgate.
I am incredibly pleased with these players and each of the staff. Of course, we can be criticised for not going far enough. But I believe we have made a massive statement , honestly, we were in a hopeless situation to receive it right for the satisfaction of everybody.
Captain Harry Kane included:The lads decided to keep out. They wanted to playwith. They needed to carry on.
While UEFA have declined to comments on occasions Sofia, Sky Sports News Kaveh Solhekol reported:It appeared, particularly in the first half, that when any black England players got the ball they had been exposed to misuse, racist abuse, monkey chants, Nazi salutes – the worst racism I have ever seen in a game.
However, Bulgaria head coach Krasimir Balakov said after the game:I did not hear anything, but I just talked to the British media, and I told them that when this is demonstrated to be true then we need to be ashamed and apologise for it. But once more, first it needs to be proven to be authentic.
Asked why his captainIvelin Popov, remonstrated with fans at half-time, Balakov responded:When our captain spoke to the fans, it was likely because of how the team was performing.
England midfielder Jordan Henderson clarified Balakovs response to the abuse throughout the tie asunacceptable, adding:Something has to be accomplished. He needs to apologise on behalf of the fans and the team. He had been asking me what the issue was and that I told him he knew what was going on, he knew what the issue was.
The Football Association have called on UEFA to investigate the racist abuseas a matter of urgency.
After racist chanting was reported to the match officials the match was stopped and there has been a PA announcement made calling for the chants before play resumed to discontinue.
But following the abuse lasted, the was spoken to by Southgate and the match was temporarily halted for another time prior to half-time.
The match was resumed and 90 minutes was finished but Southgate affirmed his players considered in the event the degree of abuse continued into the second half, walking off .
The Warriors came around on two of the events where we reported the misuse, Southgate told Sky Sports.
With the second we had a lengthy debate with the players as there was four minutes before half time.
We had been clear that when there was anything on day one of the second half we would have walked straight off and honestly we would not have return. However, the officials here threw a fair number of fans out of the floor and in the next half our soccer did the speaking.
The entire group has been united in where they stumbled on what could occur, through the game, at half time and at the conclusion. Our gamers feel supported. I believe weve made a statement although it is such a challenging area as not everybody will agree we have gone far enough. The game was stopped twice – that I do not feel that has happened in football. An statement was .
We have got players which have been through things they need to never encounter but they have come off with a grin in their face due to the way they have played. They always need the story to be about football but theyve been part of something which is going to be bigger
England midfielder Henderson said he must apologise to the behaviour of some of their home fans at the stadium and was especially critical of Balakov. Balakov stated he would apologise if the chanting was demonstrated to be racist.
Henderson told Sky Sports:I had a couple of words with the supervisor. It wasnt acceptable. Something needs to be done. He needs to apologise on behalf of the fans and the group. It is just unacceptable. He understands what is happening.
He was asking me exactly what the problem was and I told him he knew what was happening, he knew what the issue was. It was problematic the way he didnt, really. Hopefully he looks back and that then he apologises because anyone watching that match would have been know thats not on.
I felt mad. They are my team-mates, they are my friends who Ive known for a long time and shared a room with. Its shocking to view. But the game continues on and you need to change the focus. I thought we did this.
At half time we talked about it, we needed to carry on. If one person thought,hear, I dont want to go back out there, its not on, then no one would have gone out and that would have been it. But the message of everyone was we wanted to make them suffer rather than let them triumph. And I thought we all did so brilliantly tonight
Chief superintendent of the UK Police Football Unit Steve Graham said the alleged abuse endured by Englands players had beenvery simply the worst racist behaviour hed ever seen.
Graham told Sky Sports:That is quite frankly the worst stereotypical behavior I have ever seen from a bunch of fans either at the club or international point, its indescribable. The fans were singing songs whenever Raheem Sterling went to get the ball that occurred in the match and that we heard concerted booing and fighter chants, in which they appeared to create Nazi salutes.
Throughout the dip in the game was a flag with right wing images exhibited also.
Sky Sports News writer Kaveh Solhekol gave his account of what he observed and saw inside the arena and was part of the travelling media in Sofia.
He explained:It seemed, particularly in the first half, when any black England players got the ball they had been subjected to abuse, racist abuse, fighter chants, Nazi salutes, the worst racism Ive ever seen in a match.
It wasnt all the fans inside that stadium. By and large a good deal of Bulgarians are very well behaved and not racist, but tonight was shamed by a few of their fans.
Im not even sure they were soccer fans. Some of the police told us that they had been individuals with balaclavas, neo-Nazis on, a lot of them sporting black uniform.
The police, at least in the first half, appeared to try and handle the situation, to get these neo-Nazis out of the stadium.
It needs to be said in the next half the situation did calm down a little but I was quite near the Bulgarian fans and we still had the racist abuse, we had monkey noises whenever Raheem Sterling captured the ball.
When Jadon Sancho arrived in the second half the very first thing he heard were monkey chants aimed at him. It was a disgraceful nighttime for Bulgarian football.