Trav­el­ling fan dies af­ter be­ing found in Sofia park

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Euro 2020 Qualifier - By Tom Mor­gan

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.

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