Gareth Southgate was reportedly told to "f--- off" during a press conference after England's win over Bulgaria.
  • England manager Gareth Southgate was reportedly told to "f--- off" by a member of the Bulgarian media, after Bulgaria fans appeared to make monkey noises and Nazi salutes during the team's 6-0 loss to England in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday.
  • The abuse was so bad, the match was stopped twice.
  • But Bulgaria's coach, Krasimir Balakov, denied any abuse took place.
  • "I saw the referee stopped the game but I also have to say the behaviour was not only on behalf of the Bulgarian fans but also the English fans," he said, according to the BBC.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

England's manager Gareth Southgage was reportedly told to "f--- off" after Bulgaria's coach denied the "clear as day" racism in the chaotic aftermath to a controversial soccer match on Monday.

The unsavoury night in Sofia, during which England's black players were subjected to monkey chants and apparent Nazi salutes, also saw Bulgaria's team coach Krasimir Balakov denying any abuse had taken place.

The abuse, which the FA had described as "abhorrent," was so bad that the match was brought to a halt twice in the first half after England players complained to officials of racist abuse from Bulgaria fans.

"I personally did not hear the chanting," Balakov said after the match, according to the BBC.

"I saw the referee stopped the game but I also have to say the behaviour was not on behalf of the Bulgarian fans but also the English fans, who were whistling and shouting during the Bulgarian national anthem.

"During the second half they used words against our fans which I find unacceptable."

Subsequent to Balakov's denial, Southgate's own post-match press conference was reportedly interrupted by a Bulgarian journalist, who told him to "f--- off".

Sky Sports journalists Kaveh Solhekol and Andrew Dickson reported the attack on Southgate on Twitter.

"Gareth Southgate post-match press conference briefly interrupted by Bulgarian journalist who's convinced racism at the game was not as bad as we witnessed," tweeted Solhekol. "Bulgarian cameraman next to me tells Southgate to f--- off at the end."

Dickson said: "Some Bulgarians seem, unfortunately, to be in denial. One home reporter interrupted Southgate's press conference to say the racism wasn't as bad as is being claimed. A Bulgarian cameraman also told Southgate to f--- off at the end. Drag yourselves into the 21st century guys."

The first stoppage of the match at the The Levski Stadium came in the 28th minute, when a stadium announcement was then made calling for the abuse to stop or the game would be abandoned.

The second came two minutes before half time but play resumed after discussions between Southgate and the referee.

During half-time, a group dressed in hooded black attire were ejected from the stadium and Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov appeared to plead with fans to stop - an action Balakov also denied, saying it was "probably because the fans were unhappy with the way the team was performing."

The abuse continued into the second half, however no further action was taken.

Tyrone Mings, who was making his England debut, said the racism was "clear as day" but "felt sorry" for the perpetrators," according to the BBC.

"I am proud of how we dealt with it and took the appropriate steps. I could hear it as clear as day," Mings said. "It doesn't affect me too much. I feel more sorry for those people who feel they have to have those opinions.

"It was a great night for me personally. It was a really proud moment in my career. I hope everyone enjoys this moment and it isn't overshadowed."

England won 6-0 on the night, and next play Montenegro on November 14.

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