The gendarmerie resorted to the use of a water cannon after provocateurs from the protest against the BFS in the center of Sofia began to bombard the law enforcement bodies with smoke bombs and bombs. After several warnings from the police to stop the aggressive behavior of the demonstrators, they were dispersed with a water jet.
The dramatic situation unfolded on “Gen. Gurko” Street, where mostly partisans with blue scarves were concentrated. The police action resulted in mass rioting, which escalated into random destruction of property, setting fires and overturning parked cars. There are also many injured, but so far there is no information about serious injuries.
More than 6,000 football fans flocked around the “Vasil Levski” National Stadium to protest against the leadership of the BFS headed by the president Borislav Mihailov. As a result, during peak hours, the center of Sofia is practically blocked for vehicular traffic. More than 1,600 employees of the SDVR, engaged in guarding the organized protest, are responsible for maintaining order.
The biggest number are CSKA-Sofia supporters, who started gathering at the Bulgarian Army club stadium around 4:00 p.m. Shortly before 5:30 p.m., under heavy police escort, they headed towards Orlov Most, where they blocked the intersection on “Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi” Blvd. with “Tsarigradsko Shose” Blvd.
On Dragan Tsankov Blvd., the organized fans of “Levski” are located, who also chant against the former club legend, currently the head of Bulgarian football. The third wave of demonstrators is concentrated on “Gen. Gurko” street, where you can also see mostly blue scarves. This part of the protest was joined by a dozen fans wearing scarves of the Hungarian national team, who have arrived in Sofia, even though the match between the two sides will be played behind closed doors.
It was the European qualification between Bulgaria and Hungary from the screenings for Euro 2024 that became the catalyst for the mass discontent against Mihailov and co., after the BFS created a real circus with the organization of the match. The headquarters in “Boyana” first asked to move the match outside the capital, and after unsuccessful attempts to hold it in Plovdiv and Kardzhali, returned the match to Sofia, but in front of empty stands – according to the official version, at UEFA’s insistence. And according to the public secret – because of fear of protests.
The largest police presence is concentrated in front of the central entrance of the “Vasil Levski” station. For security reasons, it was there that the gendarmerie truck with the water cannon was brought. Later came a second one.
The match itself should start at 19:00, with both teams having already arrived at the stadium. The match will be broadcast live on BNT 1 and BNT 3.
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