Extreme Protests Break Out Before EURO 24 Qualifying Match

Police firing water cannons in the direction of the Bulgarian people

Ahead of their European Championship qualifier last night against Hungary, Bulgaria fans expressed their anger over the management of the countries Football Federation

The scenes that occurred quickly turned violent.

Fans protested outside the Vasil Levski stadium in Sofia by throwing plastic bottles, makeshift bombs and stones at the police, as well as vehicles set on fire.

Five policemen and 19 fans were left injured from the protests and four people were left hospitalised.

Cars were smashed outside the National Stadium

On 6th November, UEFA declared this match as a “high-risk game” and so was played behind closed doors in the event of a “risk of public disorder in and around the stadium”.

The Bulgarian Football Union and UEFA originally moved the fixture to the city of Plovdiv, 2 hours from the capital city of Sofia.

But the decision was overturned by The Plovdiv Municipality due to construction work being taken place at the stadium of Botev.

Fans said that the Unions move was “unprecedented”, as they feel that there is no other football union the voluntarily asks for a game to be played without fans.

The game went ahead regardless, as Hungary secured qualification with a 2-2 draw with Defender Alex Petkov scoring an own goal in added time at the end of the second half

This result left Bulgaria at the bottom of Group G on three points.

Their national team has failed to qualify for a major tournament in nearly two decades and fans have blamed the poor results on the management of the unions managers.

In previous matches, in the 18th minute of every match, Bulgaria fans chanted “Resign” in the direction of the president of the Bulgarian Football Union, Borislav Mihaylov, who has endured an 18 year spell in his role.

Bulgaria take on Serbia in their final qualification match for EURO 2024 on Sunday, which will also be played behind closed doors.

Unless, Serbia can turn the match into a kid-friendly match were only children would be in attendance.