24 injured and dozens detained after protest against Bulgarian Football Union

Nov 17, 2023. Posted by  Balkan Periscope - Hellas


The riot of the football fans turned the streets of Sofia into a battlefield last night, November 16.

Thousands of football supporters took to the streets of the capital, Sofia, in protest over the management of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU).

The situation escalated to clashes with police. Shortly before the Bulgaria-Hungary match kick off, the fans started throwing cobblestones, stones, makeshift bombs and set fire to vehicles, which led to dozens of injuries of fans and the police.

The medical emergency service told BNT that 24 people were injured in yesterday's riots. Seven citizens were hospitalised - one at the military medical academy, one at the ISUL hospital and five people at Pirogov emergency hospital.

Action has already begun to find those responsible for the vandalism, including fans of football teams from Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. Some of the provocateurs - ultras - have been detained. A large amount of pyrotechnics, flare guns, boxes, metal pipes and other items prohibited for carrying at mass gatherings were seized.

People from a restaurant near the Sports Palace complained of police arbitrariness. According to them, after fans from the street entered it, the police officers who followed them hit indiscriminately all the visitors. They also used pepper spray.

This morning, Sofia woke up with traces of the riots. The windows of the building of the Ministry of Youth and Sports have been broken. There are still stones, paving stones, burnt objects, broken cars on the streets despite efforts to get the city back to normal.