Like with many countries in Europe, there has been a marked resurgence in racism and far-right politics as a scapegoat for other, deeper, societal problems. And it seems like Bulgaria has this problem too, as a recent incident during a football match with England illustrated.
The crises of late Capitalism intensify as time passes, and toxic elements will continue to take advantage. And much like video games, Football has long been a haven for good and bad influences, and unfortunately, that also includes a massive infiltration of Fascist ideology and general racism. This was made incredibly obvious during a Euro 2020 qualifier on October 14, which saw England playing away at Bulgaria.
The match was immediately beset with cantankerous fans who hurled racist abuse at England’s players, including several incidents of Nazi salutes. The Bulgarian fans taking part in the abusive behavior were so constant and disruptive that the match suffered two play stoppages in the first half. Things only got worse, as play was about to be suspended entirely – because England wanted no part in the nonsense – and the insults and racism continued. In the aftermath of the event, both the Bulgarian Football Union President Borislav Mihaylov and Bulgarian team manager Krasimir Balakov resigned from their posts.
In response, fans and organizations all over the world condemned the fans outbursts, reiterating a welcoming and inclusive attitude should be the default for all sports. Sadly, this isn’t the only controversial instance of political poison in recent times. The MLS organizations in America were subject to consistent protest over the banning of certain fan imagery at games. Notably, the German Iron Front logo – a symbol associated in modern times with anti-Fascism, although historically it was more like radical Centrism as the group was also opposed to Communism and Monarchism – was banned.
So in a surprise announcement, Electronic Arts has partnered with FIFA to port a special version of player kit emblazoned with “No Room For Racism”. This special kit and stadium theme will be made available in FIFA 20 “soon”. They will be free to download. And it’s pretty bad timing for racist filth as Paradox just announced a new way to digitally bash the fash in Hearts of Iron IV with the Hearts of Iron 4: La Resistance expansion.