Alan Pardew quits as CSKA Sofia manager after fans racially abuse own players

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Alan Pardew quits as CSKA Sofia manager after fans racially abuse own players
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Alan Pardew has quit as manager of Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia after players were racially abused by the club’s own fans.

CSKA lost in the Bulgarian Cup final to big rivals Levski Sofia last month and a week later supporters targeted black members of the squad ahead of a league match.

Sky Sports reports that four players were racially abused and had bananas thrown at them by a group of the club’s fans outside the stadium. Despite initially refusing to then play the match, those players then agreed to do so.

Former Crystal Palace and West Ham boss Pardew, who took over as first-team manager in April after previously joining the club as technical director, has since held talks with the club’s hierarchy and has now left along with with his assistant Alex Dyer, who became the first black coach in the club’s history.

“The events before and after the match against Botev Plovdiv were unacceptable not only for me but also for my assistant Alex Dyer and for my players,” Pardew said in a statement.

“Our players decided to play out of loyalty towards the club. This small group of organised racist fans, who tried to sabotage the game, are not the fans I want to coach the team in front of.

“That’s definitely not the right way for CSKA because such club deserves a lot more.

“I would want to express my gratitude towards all true CSKA fans for their support and passion.

“I also want to thank Grisha and Dani Ganchev [the club owners] for their efforts to bring the club forward despite all the challenges and circumstances.

“It’s been a privilege and honour to serve this great club. Unfortunately, my time here has come to an end.”

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