Racism mars England victory in Bulgaria

Published Sep. 3, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

England winger Theo Walcott admitted he clearly heard the racist chanting that marred Friday night's 3-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Bulgaria.

Monkey chants could be heard from the home section of the crowd in a throwback to the bad old days of fan unrest.

England have experienced similar problems in eastern Europe before, and for Walcott it was not an experience he wants to dwell on.

"I was aware (of the chants). It was very clear," said the Arsenal star.

"I ignored it. But that is me. I think the FA will deal with that and I don't want to comment. The result was the important thing."

Coach Fabio Capello confirmed he had not heard the chanting over the usual crowd noise as he was so focussed on his side's performance.

"I didn't hear it. I was focused on the game," confirmed Fabio Capello, whose captain, John Terry, expressed his revulsion.


"You don't expect that at all," he said.

"It was a great spectacle for everyone to watch this evening.

"Let's not let that spoil it."

The Football Association have already complained to their Bulgarian counterparts and notified the UEFA delegate present at the game.

England had a friendly against Spain in 2009 moved to Seville from Madrid after racist abuse was directed at black players in an earlier match in the Spanish capital, showing they are not scared to tackle the issue head on.

"I can't say anything about this as I am not really aware of it," said Bulgaria coach and World Cup-winning former West Germany captain Lothar Matthaus.

"In my capacity as the manager, I cannot comment on such things, but it's pitiful for things like that to happen.

"And, as a result of that, I'd like to apologise on behalf of the Bulgarian Football Federation."