Chaos and closed streets in the capital because of the protest against the management of the Bulgarian Football Union. After 6:15 p.m., the fans started throwing bombs and smoke bombs at the police. Law enforcement responded with water cannons that dispersed some of the supporters in Borisov Garden, Mediapool saw.
Around 19:00, a police bus was set on fire at the corner of “Gurko” street and “Vasil Levski” blvd. The fans looted the helmets, bats and shields inside it, and in the end the bus caught fire and could not be extinguished by the fire department that arrived at the scene.
bTV reported that there were two injured.
The fans have bombs, knives and face masks
Between 17:00 and 18:15 the protest was peaceful as fans of CSKA, Levki, Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Botev Plovdiv and other clubs gathered on Gurko Street to announce their demand for the resignation of Bobi Mihailov and the leaders of the BFS.
Together with the Bulgarian fans, there were also about 20 Hungarian citizens who came to support the cause of the Bulgarian supporters, despite the fact that due to the decision of the BFS, which transfers the ball to UEFA, the match is played in front of empty stands.
The protesters, who numbered several thousand, loudly booed the BFS and with shouts and banners demanded the resignation of Borislav Mihailov, who has been at the head of Bulgarian football for 18 years. The fans sang together the national anthem and several revival songs. Among those present were women and children.
Around 18:15, however, the tension between the police and the fans escalated. The supporters started throwing bombs and rockets at the law enforcement authorities, and the police retaliated by using a water cannon, which scattered the fans around Borisova Garden and forced them to retreat to Vasil Levski Blvd.
The fans didn’t give up, despite the water cannon used, Sn. BGNES
The supporters were not intimidated by this action, on the contrary, they continued to shout “Resign” and send messages to the BFS. This forced the police to come forward with batons and shields and thus the fans were pushed to the intersection of Gurko St. and Vasil Levski Blvd.
The situation developed just 30 minutes before the start of the Bulgaria-Hungary European football qualification, which will be played without an audience at the Vasil Levski stadium. The mess surrounding the meeting caused a great public response.
Video: Radoslav Alexandrov, Mediapool
In the minutes around the beginning of the meeting, the highest point of tension was reached. Angered by the actions of the police and unwilling to leave the perimeter to protest, some of the protesters resorted to extreme measures. They tore down a part of a fence on “Gurko” Street, set fire to several boxes, pushed garbage cans towards the gendarmerie, and a few minutes later they smashed a bus left by the police. They looted helmets, batons and shields from him, and eventually the bus caught fire before it was put out by the fire department that arrived on the scene.
The fans were dispersed into several groups, the largest of which went to the University of Sofia and Orlov Most, and the rest moved to Partiarch Euthymius Square, continuing to send various objects to the law enforcement authorities.
According to bTV, during the searches of the fans, the police found knives, bombs and face masks. BTA reports that police officers and protesters were injured. There are also arrested.
Photo: Radoslav Alexandrov, Mediapool
Traffic is temporarily closed on “Tsar Osvoboditel” Blvd. from “Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi” Blvd. to “Vasil Levski” Blvd. and on “Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi” Blvd. from Orlov Most to Graf Ignatiev St.” in connection with the event at a football meeting and protest in front of the Vasil Levski National Stadium.
Photo: Radoslav Alexandrov, Mediapool
Public transport vehicles have been diverted along detour routes. Buses coming from “Mladost” and “Druzhba” are diverted through the roundabout of the TV tower along “Aleya Yavorov” Blvd., “Dragan Tsankov” Blvd. and “Tsarigradsko Shose” Blvd.
Trolleybuses coming from “Mladost” and “Druzhba” turn at the intersection at the 4th kilometer, and those from the “H. Dimitar” district turn at the roundabout at the Vasil Levski monument and back along their route.
In front of the “Vasil Levski” stadium, the police presence has been increased.
“Black Sea” campaigner blocks the “Hemus” highway
After an hour and a half of checks by the police on the “Hemus” highway, the agitator of the “Black Sea” football team decided to block the highway at the entrance to Sofia.
Minutes later, the police were forced to let the supporters of the Varna team go to the stadium.