In Brief

Today’s back pages: Bulgaria backlash over England’s fixation with racism

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 11 October

‘Shut up, England’

The Daily Mail reports that England have been caught up in an “explosive race row” with Bulgaria amid fears of racial abuse during Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia. 

Bulgarian football chiefs have made an official complaint to Uefa warning that the English FA’s fixation with racism could increase tensions. 

The Daily Mirror says the Bulgarian “backlash” comes after comments made by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate and players such as Tammy Abraham were described as “offensive” and “derogatory”.

Bulgaria FA president Borislav Mikhailov launched the “remarkable attack” on England and accused the FA of peddling “racist stereotypes”. 

Southgate admits that England must get their own house in order. He said: “I can totally understand why the Bulgarian president feels.

“We are not trying to create a situation at all, far from it. We’re all hoping that over the next 72 hours, we’re just talking about two football matches. 

“I think both countries would have a strong desire for that and I have to say again, we don’t look at other countries in a way that we don’t shine a mirror on our own.”

England can qualify for next summer’s European Championships with victory tonight in the Czech Republic. The Three Lions then play in Bulgaria on Monday night. Both games kick-off at 7.45pm (UK time) and are live on ITV.

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