CSKA Sofia issue statement after ex-Portsmouth and Birmingham winger Viv Solomon-Otabor subjected to racist abuse
CSKA Sofia have said they will ‘in no way tolerate’ racism after former Pompey winger Viv Solomon-Otabor was subjected to abuse in recent outings for the Bulgarian First League side.
The club issued an official statement on Sunday, declaring they ‘stood firmly behind’ the Nigerian winger and that racism ‘has no place in society or in the sports fields of Bulgaria’.
It comes after the Bulgarian national team were ordered to play two matches behind closed doors - one suspended for two years - for their fans' racist abuse of England players in a Euro 2020 qualifier back in October.
Solomon-Otabor joined CSKA Sofia in the summer after allowing his contract with Birmingham City to expire.
He spent the second half of last season on loan at Fratton Park, where he made 10 appearances and scored once.
Blues manager Kenny Jackett admitted he was keen to bring the 23-year-old back to the south coast but a move never materialised.
In a tweet, Solomon-Otabor – whose only Pompey goal came in the 3-2 win at Walsall – described the abuse he’s suffered as ‘disgraceful’.
The CSKA Sofia statement read: ‘Army men, CSKA as a club and institution in Bulgarian football, enjoying the support of the largest audience, clearly declares its position that it will in no way tolerate manifestations of racism, discrimination and any division and determination of people according to their skin colour, ethnicity and religious affiliation.
‘We stand firmly behind our football player Viv Solomon-Otabor, who has been attacked and insulted on this basis in our recent meetings.
We will categorically fight this as a reputable club with players of different nationalities.
‘Racism is a scourge for our times, and it has no place in society or in the sports fields of Bulgaria.’
Solomon-Otabor has made 15 appearances for CSKA to date, scoring once.