Travelling fan dies after being found in Sofia park
An England fan died in Bulgarian police custody amid allegations from officers that he had been behaving “aggressively, raging and threatening” in hospital ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifier.
The 32-year-old had apparently been taken in for treatment after being discovered “helpless” by officers who found him in a Sofia park at 10am yesterday.
A local police spokeswoman told The Daily Telegraph she “cannot confirm” local reports that the man may have taken drugs. “He was found in a helpless condition,” she said. Last night, the Foreign Office said it was liaising with the dead man’s family in the UK. British police were also working with Bulgarian officers to establish the exact cause of death.
According to local officers, the man was immediately taken to hospital from Borisova Gardens. The Bulgarian Ministry of Interior later released a statement to “clarify the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident”.
“At 10 o’clock, the police received a signal for a man in a helpless condition in the area of Ivan Vazov and GS Rakovski streets. The 32-yearold, a foreign national, was taken by an ambulance team to a hospital for examination. There he suddenly began to act aggressively, raging and threatening. Action was taken to transport [him] to the Sofia Police Department. On the way, the man died. The work to clarify the circumstances of the incident continues under the supervision of the prosecution.”
The Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died following an incident in Sofia, and our staff are in contact with the authorities.”
There were an estimated 3,400 England fans for the match played just three days after 14 England supporters were arrested after clashes with police in Prague prior to defeat by Czech Republic.
There was trouble in the buildup to last night’s game when a fight broke out in a bar England fans had taken over. A chair was thrown and bottles smashed before police moved in to restrain one man before another was led away, bloodied, with his right wrist wrapped in an England scarf. It was unclear whether the assailant was local.