Alan Pardew leaves CSKA Sofia after fans racially abuse own players | Soccer

Alan Pardew only became CSKA coach in April (Photo: Getty)

Alan Pardev has resigned as manager and technical director of Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia after a group of fans racially abused their own players.

The former Crystal Palace and Newcastle boss joined CSKA in a backroom role last year before taking charge of the first-team in April following the retirement of former coach Stoycho Mladenov.

He had agreed to continue as manager for next season but announced on Wednesday that he and assistant manager Alex Dyer, the first black person to hold a coaching role at the club, were leaving with immediate effect following a recent incident.

A week after the club lost to bitter rivals Levski Sofia in the Bulgarian Cup final in May, the CSKA team were confronted with a large crowd of fans outside their stadium ahead of their league game against Botev Plovdiv.

Four black players were racially abused, threw bananas among other things, and initially refused to play the game in protest, but were later persuaded to do so.

Now Pardew has made the decision to leave the club for good, saying in a statement on the CSKA website: “The events before and after the game against Botev Plovdiv were unacceptable not only for me but also for my assistant Alex Dyer for my players.

“Our players have chosen to play out of loyalty to the club.

“This small group of organized racist fans who tried to sabotage the game are not the fans I want to coach the team in front of. This is definitely not the right way for CSKA because this club deserves much more.”

It is not the first time that the issue of racism has come under the spotlight in Bulgarian football, as England’s Euro 2019 qualifier was twice interrupted over racist abuse by Bulgarian fans.

MORE: Jude Bellingham blasts England fans over racial abuse of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho after Euro 2020 final defeat

MORE : Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s stance on moving to Arsenal, Manchester United or Newcastle United this summer

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General Sports Alan Pardew leaves CSKA Sofia after fans racially abuse own players | Soccer

Nate Jones

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