Bulgarian Football Fans were Brutally Attacked in North Macedonia - One was Stabbed!

Society » INCIDENTS | July 28, 2023, Friday // 09:16
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Football Fans were Brutally Attacked in North Macedonia - One was Stabbed!

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been informed about a Bulgarian citizen injured in an accident in Skopje before the football match between PFC "Levski" and the local FC "Shkupi". This was announced by the BTA department. According to initial information, it was an attack in the northern part of the city and stab wounds were inflicted with cold weapons.

Bulgarian football fans were attacked in the Republic of North Macedonia minutes before the start of the UEFA Europa Conference League match between FC Shkupi and Levski Sofia at the "Todor Proeski" Stadium in Skopje. 15 Bulgarian citizens were detained by the police.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that they are monitoring the situation closely. Bulgaria's ambassador in North Macedonia has already held a conversation with the competent authorities and insisted on urgently clarifying the case and ensuring the safety of Bulgarian football fans.

The consul of Bulgaria in Skopje has already visited the injured Bulgarian citizen in the hospital where he was admitted for treatment. According to the available information, his condition is currently being clarified, but there is no risk to his life. "In due course, we will provide additional information on the case", added the Foreign Ministry.

Bulgarian football fans were attacked in the Republic of North Macedonia minutes before the start of the football match between FC Shkupi and Levski Sofia at the Todor Proeski Stadium in Skopje, the "Sport1" website reportед. 15 Bulgarian citizens were detained by the police.
"Klan" TV aired a video in which local residents from the Čair neighborhood can be seen throwing garbage cans at cars carrying Bulgarian fans, who arrived in North Macedonia specifically for the football match.

It is not known what happened before the incident and whether there was a verbal confrontation between fans of Levski and Shkupi. "Sport 1" indicated that the clashes between the Bulgarian and local fans were expected. Therefore, the police population in the center of Skopje was increased yesterday, especially around the Todor Proeski Stadium.

At the entrance to the Todor Proeski stadium, in the area under the stands, a group of fans got into a conflict with police officers, which quickly turned into physical violence. In the videos, juice or beer bottles can be seen flying, as well as some larger objects.

The atmosphere heated up even before the game with inappropriate comments and messages on social media, such as plans to burn the Macedonian and Albanian flags during the game. This however did not happen. A match at the club level from neighboring countries always creates conditions for the rivalry to go beyond the stands, but in this case it is extremely aggravated due to the political conflicts between the Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria, so intolerance can easily escalate. It has to be mentioned that the attacks on Bulgarian clubs, establishments and citizens in North Macedonia in the past 2 years have been numerous and well documented and reported by our media. In Bulgaria there was only one reported "attack" on a macedonian cultural club.

Expert: Those who attacked Levski fan in North Macedonia were not football hooligans

"This attack is out of hate. The attackers are not football hooligans." Viktor Stoyanov from the "Macedonia" Foundation said this on the air of Nova TV. His words are regarding the stabbing of a Bulgarian man in Skopje on Thursday evening. He was part of a group of fans of the "Levski" football team, which played a match with the North Macedonian "Shkupi".

Stoyanov added that it is clear from the police log that two Bulgarian cars deviated from the route and entered the "Čair" quarter, which is inhabited mainly by ethnic Albanians. "Among the Albanian population, there are no anti-Bulgarian sentiments," he claims.

According to Viktor Stoyanov, the attackers have already been identified by the police. However, there is still no information about arrests. He called for stiff sentences.

Friend of the stabbed Bulgarian in Skopje: The police drove us through a dangerous neighborhood

A friend of those stabbed in Skopje, a 29-year-old Bulgarian, spoke exclusively to Nova TV. Petar Bozov became an unwitting witness to the attack, in which North Macedonian football fans attacked "Levski" supporters. He himself was injured after being hit on the head with a stick. Doctors recommended a scanner.

Peter is a lawyer, he has his own office. He says that none of the Bulgarians who traveled in several cars is an organized fan or part of a group. He also denied participating in organized fights. According to the man, the stabbed Bulgarian - Drago - has non-life-threatening injuries. He called on the Bulgarian authorities to assist in his treatment and transportation in Bulgaria.

"Around 6 p.m. we were at the entrance to Skopje. Before it, all Bulgarian cars were thoroughly checked for the presence of weapons. A cordon went out to escort us, but on the highway, it broke away and we were not well guarded. Before a turn, the driver of the second car flashed my light and we stopped. He asked me 'Do you know where we are going?' and I said 'Yes, along the route that Levski gave us'. A patrol car stopped next to us and we asked them 'Are we on the right' and they said 'Yes, go, go'. This turned out to be the road to the exit for Čair district", said the friend of the stabbed Bulgarian.

"The Macedonian police saw very well how many Bulgarian cars deviated and ended up in the dangerous neighborhood in question," he added. "Then the nightmare began. A huge crowd of men of Albanian origin gathered around them. They hit the cars, there they also stabbed Drago" - Peter's friend. "We were beaten with metal objects and cans", recalls the participant in what happened.

He explained that the police had forbidden him to take pictures. They were also denied an interpreter during the interrogations. After all, the Bulgarian ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia provided translation.

Dragomir works in the field of telecommunications services, he is an IT specialist.

"Levski" dealt a double blow to "Shkupi" in Skopje

PFC "Levski" took an important step towards the third qualifying round of the Conference League tournament after beating "Shkupi" 2:0. The team from North Macedonia had several very good chances to score, but instead Welton gave the "Blues" the lead in the 30th minute after the ball reached him with a great deal of luck. In the added time of the match, Ronaldo silenced the stands with a second goal.

In the end, Levski took a valuable success before the second leg which will be played at "Gerena" stadium next week. New signing Hassimi Fadiga made his debut for Nikolay Kostov's team, who came on as a substitute in the second half.

The winner of the pair will play in the next phase against Hapoel Be'er Sheva (Israel) or Panevezys (Lithuania). Last night the Israelis won at home 1:0.

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Tags: north macedonia, Bulgarian, Levski, attacked

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