Sport Bulgarian stewards ditched hi-vis to join fans
Bulgarian judges have two months to decide parole fate of Australian
Jock Palfreeman was granted early parole after serving 11 years behind bars for a fatal stabbing in 2007 – and will stay behind bars until a second ruling is announced.A court hearing into the early parole of Australian man Jock Palfreeman jailed in Bulgaria has been adjourned and judges given two months to decide if he gets released from prison.
Bulgarian stewards enforcing the behaviour of home supporters in the first half of the European Qualifier against England took off their hi-vis vests, stopped working, and joined the crowd in the second half to watch the game.
It comes amid fresh allegations that the racist abuse of England's players on Monday night was co-ordinated and pre-planned.
It is not yet clear whether any of those stewards were subsequently involved in the racist chants directed at, primarily, Tyrone Mings, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling.
'No deviation' in Jock Palfreeman proceedings, Australian diplomat reportedly says
Australia's top diplomat in Athens reportedly says Jock Palfreeman's detention is "proceeding according to Bulgarian law", just six days after Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she was "concerned".The minister attributed the following statement to Jon Philp, the Charge d'Affaires at the Australian Embassy in Athens: "Australia is aware that currently everything is proceeding according to Bulgarian law and there are no deviations in the judiciary process.
Pictures: England player ratings on a difficult night in Bulgaria
In Eastern Europe, 'ultras' are the most devoted and most extreme supporters within a club's fan base, who - on occasion - have been linked with football violence.
The English FA has been charged by UEFA for an apparent lack of steward numbers to scrutinise and control the 3,500 England fans inside the stadium on Monday night.
No such charges have been levied against the Bulgarian authorities.
Sky Sports News has contacted the Bulgarian Football Union for confirmation as to whether any of Levski Sofia's 'ultras' were involved in the stewarding of the game against England.
Australian prisoner languishes in limbo in Bulgaria
Australian prisoner Jock Palfreeman's bid for parole, and freedom, in Bulgaria has ignited a political firestorm, both in the country he is being detained - and in the Sydneysider's home town.The chief prosecutor wants to reverse a decision to grant the 32-year-old parole, halfway through his 20-year sentence for murder. Many believe he should serve out the full sentence.
I n a statement issued on Tuesday, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin urged governments to escalate the "war on the racists" to help football authorities eliminate it from stadiums, and blamed a "rise of nationalism" for encouraging abuse.
"Believe me, UEFA is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate this disease from football," Ceferin said.
"We cannot afford to be content with this. We must always strive to strengthen our resolve.
"More broadly, the football family - everyone from administrators to players, coaches and fans - needs to work with governments and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to wage war on the racists and to marginalise their abhorrent views to the fringes of society."
Father hopes Palfreeman is home for Xmas .
Jock Palfreeman's father says having his son home for Christmas would be a 'magical' moment for his extended family, but fears it won't happen.The 32-year-old Jock - who spent more than 11 years in a Bulgarian jail after being convicted of murder - was released on parole earlier this week but is subject to a travel ban.