Football: Bulgaria tie 'will go ahead'

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The Independent Online
THE FOOTBALL Association said yesterday that it was confident the Euro 2000 qualifier between England and Bulgaria at Wembley will go ahead as planned on 10 October, despite suggestions it may be abandoned because of problems within the Bulgarian football authority, the BFU.

There have been doubts over the match because Fifa, football's world governing body, are threatening to expel Bulgaria from international competitions since the Bulgarian sports ministry revoked the BFU's licence and sacked some of its leading members earlier this month. Fifa had imposed a deadline of today for the sackings to be reversed - but the close proximity of the England game may delay a decision on any possible sanctions.

"If Fifa decided to suspend the BFU, it could do so after the match," a Fifa spokesman said. He dismissed suggestions that game might be forfeited and the points given to England. "From our experience it hardly ever happens," he said.

The Football Association was yesterday still preparing for a game expected to draw a capacity 73,000 crowd. "We are confident that it will be business as usual," an FA spokesman said.