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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard hails England stars for handling of racist abuse in Bulgaria | Football | Sport


As Bulgaria coach Krasimir Balakov resigned on Friday night in the wake of the abuse England’s players suffered in their 6-0 win over his team in Sofia on Monday, Lampard said he thought Gareth Southgate’s players had handled the situation brilliantly.

England’s players on the night in Bulgaria, after the game was stopped twice when their players were subjected to appalling abuse, took a collective decision to play on.

And the Chelsea manager, who had Ross Barkley, Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori all involved in Sofia, said: “The collective nature of the way England dealt with what happened was great. We would have that collective nature here at Chelsea.

“I travelled in Europe with England and what we all felt we maybe didn’t talk about enough about. The big progression from Monday is that we have now got to a point where the governing bodies have to make a big step. We can’t just rely on players.

“It was plainly clear watching from the TV what was going on – so that should be dealt with.

“The world has changed. It’s a good thing nowadays that players and fans act collectively. What we saw was a fan issue. It is good that the players feel more comfortable speaking out.”

Balakov, meanwhile, quit as the fallout from Monday scenes continued to rumble on.

The 53-year-old, who only took over in May and said on Monday night after the game that he did not hear any of the abuse, resigned – along with the entire Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) executive committee, the BFU confirmed on Friday.

BTU president Borislav Mihaylov had resigned on Tuesday, on the same day the association’s offices were raided by the police.



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