Alan Pardew leaves CSKA Sofia after fans allegedly racially abused players

Pardev, who was appointed coach in April, announced he was leaving the Bulgarian club after the actions of a “small group of organized racist fans” at a game against Botev Plovdiv.

“The events before and after the game against Botev Plovdiv were unacceptable not only for me but also for my assistant Alex Dyer and for my players,” said Pardew, who first joined the club as technical director in 2020, in a statement attached to which was sent to the team’s website.

CSKA lost the final of the Cup in Bulgaria to rivals Levski Sofia last month. A week after the game, when CSKA team arrived for a league game against Botev Plovdiv, scores of angry fans reportedly gathered in front of the stadium.

Four black players were allegedly racially abused and pelted with bananas, Sky Sports reported. The players initially refused to take part in the game after being verbally abused, but were later persuaded to do so, the report said.

CNN has contacted CSKA Sofia regarding Pardev’s departure and the alleged racist abuse of squad members, but has yet to receive a response.

“Our players have chosen to play out of loyalty to and to protect the club,” Pardew wrote in the statement.

“This small group of organized racist fans who tried to sabotage the game is not what I want to coach the team in front of,” said the former Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss.

Pardew went on to thank all “true CSKA fans” for their “passion and support”, adding: “It has been a privilege to be a part of and to serve this great club.

“Unfortunately, my time here is over.”

Pardew is leaving the club with his assistant coach Alex Dyer, who is black.

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