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Pardew quits role at CSKA Sofia amid racism ‘outrage’

English manager Alan Pardew said Wednesday that he was leaving his role as head coach at Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia club, citing “outrage” over racist behaviour from fans towards the club’s black players.

“Unfortunately my time here is over,” Pardew said in a statement posted on CSKA’s website.

“The events before and after the match with Botev Plovdiv were not acceptable for me,” he went on.

At that match on May 19, which ended in a goalless draw, CSKA fans threw bananas and water bottles at their own players, booed them and barred them from entering the cloakrooms.

“The reason no one gave an interview after the game was that we were all very outraged by the situation,” Pardew said.

He also observed that “to make the decisive leap to the championship title, the club needs better infrastructure and stability in every respect.”

The former Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace boss joined the club in November 2020.

Bulgarian football has been dogged by repeated incidents of racist abuse from fans.

A Euro 2020 qualifier match against England in October 2019 was halted twice after England players were targeted by racist chanting, sparking international condemnation.

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