Bulgarian troops not involved in football fan fight in Sarajevo, MoD says

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defence has rejected media reports from Bosnia that Bulgarian military personnel were involved in a brawl in Sarajevo between Bulgarian and Bosnian football fans.

The incident took place on July 22, the day of a UEFA Cup qualifying match in the Bosnian capital. Authorities in Sarajevo said that three people were injured in the fight.

Sofia-based local television station bTV, quoting “unofficial information” said on July 23 that Bulgarian military personnel, part of the EUFOR stability force, had defended fans of Levski football club who had just arrived inSarajevo.

A statement by the Ministry of Defence in Sofia rejected this, quoting Operation Althea deputy chief of staff Colonel Vladimir Lalov as saying that at the time of the incident, all Bulgarian military personnel were at their base, performing their duties.

If any military personnel were involved, they may have been from another contingent, Lalov said.

A further element of the controversy around the trip is an allegation that Bulgarian Levski fans raised a banner referring to Ratko Mladic and Arkan, which could open the way to a sanction from UEFA.

(Photo:  MOs810)




The Sofia Globe staff

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