Bulgaria arrests 5 more following racist abuse at England soccer match
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Bulgaria arrests 5 more following racist abuse at England soccer match

Police have so far identified 16 people who made Nazi salutes and monkey noises at black players in game that was twice halted due to racist chants

Bulgarian fans make the Nazi salute during the Euro 2020 Group A football qualification match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019. (Nikolay Dovchinov/AFP)
Bulgarian fans make the Nazi salute during the Euro 2020 Group A football qualification match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019. (Nikolay Dovchinov/AFP)

SOFIA, Bulgaria  — Five more Bulgarian soccer fans were detained Friday following the racist abuse directed at England players during a European Championship qualifying match.

The interior ministry said police have so far identified 16 people believed to have taken part in the racist abuse, which included Nazi salutes and monkey noises.

“Five more men implicated in the abusive actions were detained this morning,” the ministry said. “Police continues work to track down five more to detain them.”

England won Monday’s match 6-0. It was twice halted in an effort to stop the racist abuse.

England’s head coach Gareth Southgate speaks with Marcus Rashford after he left the pitch during the Euro 2020 Group A soccer match between Bulgaria and England at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on October 14, 2019. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP)

On Wednesday, six others were arrested. One of the six, who is 18 years old, has been indicted for “grave hooliganism” and could face up to five years in prison if found guilty. The five others were handed fines and banned from soccer matches.

A total of 78 fans have been detained during soccer matches in Sofia since the beginning of the year, police said. The majority of them have received one- or two-year bans from attending sports events in Bulgaria and abroad, fines and community work.

Also Friday, the president of Bulgarian soccer federation handed in his resignation.

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