Borislav Mihaylov, left, has stepped down as BFU President following the racism that marred his country's against England in Sofia ©Getty Images

Borislav Mihaylov has resigned as President of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov urged him to quit following the racial abuse directed at England's black players during last night's international match in Sofia.

The BFU confirmed in a statement - which made no mention of racism - that the 56-year-old Mihaylov had left his role and said the decision "is a consequence of the recent tensions".

Borissov had demanded the former goalkeeper, who played at three World Cups and whose career enjoyed a short spell in England with Reading, resign immediately and condemned the behaviour of the home supporters.

Mihaylov had sparked controversy in the build-up to the 2020 UEFA European Championship qualifier after he criticised England's players for warning they would walk off if they were racially abused.

He had been President since 2005 when he replaced long-serving Ivan Slavkov, who was expelled from the International Olympic Committee following allegations of corruption.

It came after BBC's Panorama secretly filmed him claiming he was prepared to vote for London to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in exchange for a bribe. 

UEFA today charged the BFU for four offences, including racist behaviour, throwing of objects, the disruption of a national anthem by home supporters and showing replays on a giant screen.

The English Football Association is also facing disciplinary proceedings after visiting fans whistled during the Bulgarian anthem and for providing an insufficient number of travelling stewards.

The qualifier between Bulgaria and England in Sofia was twice halted for racist abuse ©Getty Images
The qualifier between Bulgaria and England in Sofia was twice halted for racist abuse ©Getty Images

The pre-match fears were realised during the match at Vasil Levski Stadium, which was halted twice under UEFA's protocol because of racial abuse.

England defender Tyrone Mings was seen asking the assistant referee if he had heard the audible racist noises coming from a section of Bulgarian supporters.

The game resumed following an announcement condemning the racist abuse, which was loudly booed, but it was stopped for a second time before the break.

England manager Gareth Southgate held discussions with officials and his players, who had the option to leave the pitch but decided to continue.

Television footage later depicted a group of Bulgaria fans making monkey noises and also raising Nazi salutes.

A group of around 50 were then seemingly ordered to leave the stadium, partially closed after UEFA sanctioned Bulgaria for racist behaviour during Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic.

Footage shown on British broadcaster ITV suggested the abuse continued in the second-half but England's players opted to see out the remainder of the match, which they won 6-0.

The incidents sparked widespread outrage and prompted UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin to urge the "football family and Governments" to "wage war" on the racists.

"UEFA's sanctions are among the toughest in sport for clubs and associations whose supporters are racist at our matches," Čeferin said. 

"The minimum sanction is a partial closure of the stadium - a move which costs the hosts at least hundreds of thousands in lost revenue and attaches a stigma to their supporters.

"Football associations themselves cannot solve this problem. 

"Governments too need to do more in this area. 

"Only by working together in the name of decency and honour will we make progress."

Tyrone Mings was among the players to be racially abused during the match ©Getty Images
Tyrone Mings was among the players to be racially abused during the match ©Getty Images

In a statement, FIFA warned it has the power to "extend worldwide any sanctions that a Confederation or Member Association imposes for racist incidents, such as those which occurred in Sofia during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match between Bulgaria and England".

"FIFA therefore expects to be informed as soon as practicable regarding the relevant decisions of the UEFA disciplinary bodies in relation to this particular case," the worldwide body added.

"This would allow any sanctions imposed to be extended worldwide."

FIFA President Gianni Infantino echoed Čeferin's call but said football "needs to think more broadly on what we can do to fix this".

"When we proposed the three step procedure in 2009 when I was at UEFA, and then made the regulations even tougher a few years later, we could not have imagined that so shortly thereafter we would again be having to think of how to combat this obnoxious disease that seems to be getting even worse in some parts of the world," he said.

"I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football. 

"As a starting point, I suggest that all competition organizers enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behaviour at a football match. 

"FIFA can then enforce such bans at a worldwide level."