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Caley Thistle claim Nikolay Todorov was subjected to racist abuse after forward issued with SFA notice of complaint

Inverness' Nikolay Todorov speaks with referee Steven Reid during a Scottish Championship match between Greenock Morton and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Inverness' Nikolay Todorov speaks with referee Steven Reid during a Scottish Championship match between Greenock Morton and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Caley Thistle have vowed to robustly defend striker Nikolay Todorov after he was issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish FA.

The Inverness club have claimed the 24-year-old Bulgarian forward was subjected to “extreme provocation, racist abuse and violence” during a 1-0 victory against Raith Rovers on March 16.

Raith Rovers defender Iain Anderson was cited by the Scottish FA for an alleged incident during the match with his hearing set to take place on Thursday.

Anderson was sent off after only 11 minutes for a heavy challenge on Todorov.

Raith’s Iain Davidson is sent off during the Scottish Championship match between Raith Rovers and Inverness Caledonian Thistle on March 16.

A Caley Thistle statement said: “Today Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC player Nikolay Todorov was issued a notice of complaint by the SFA.

“This relates to an allegation that disciplinary rule 202 was breached i.e. ‘No player shall commit excessive misconduct at a match.’

“It is alleged that the breach took place at a Scottish Championship match on March 16  when Inverness Caledonian Thistle played Raith Rovers.

“We will robustly defend our player from this allegation.

“Nikolay’s conduct on the March 16 was entirely exemplary despite the extreme provocation, racist abuse and violence he was subjected to. We are unable at this stage to comment further.”

Todorov’s solicitor Aamer Anwar also released the following statement: “Nikolay Todorov vehemently denies that he is guilty of any misconduct. He sees the allegations as spurious and believes the facts will speak for themselves at a full hearing in due course.

“However, it is important to state what is already in the public domain, during the course of the match Nikolay was subjected to violent tackles on two occasions, whilst his team captain was grabbed by the throat, which resulted in a Raith Rovers player being issued two red cards on the second occasion and sent off.

“During the first incident it is alleged that Nikolay was subjected to racial abuse which left him shaken and upset. The alleged abuse was witnessed by others.

“Nikolay chose to follow SFA procedures and immediately reported the matter to the match referee and accordingly a tribunal hearing into these allegations is to take place on the 15 April 2021.

“The present allegations are viewed as cynical, in that it has taken nearly one month for them to appear after an original complaint was made by Nikolay.”

Mr Anwar added: “Nikolay Todorov’s disciplinary record speaks for itself, he came to the UK from his home country of Bulgaria when he won a football scholarship at the age of 15.

“Making Scotland his home some five years ago, Nikolay is proud of his family’s proud mixed heritage with a young child born here and a Scottish wife.

“In 2019 Nikolay Todorov received widespread plaudits for condemning his home country Bulgaria’s fans for racist chanting during their 6-0 defeat to England. The Euro 2020 qualifier was stopped twice after a group of Bulgaria fans could be heard racially abusing England’s black players, whilst TV cameras showed some fans making Nazi salutes.

“Todorov at the time tweeted his disgust at the behaviour by posting: ‘Embarrassing what happened last night It’s 2019 and that’s still happening. I’m proud Bulgarian and couple of individuals should not ruin the image of the whole nation.’

“That is the sort of principled young man we are dealing with.

“In conclusion it surely is time, that the Scottish Football Association which is publicly committed to eradicating racism, updated its disciplinary regulations to specify the individual offence of racism.

“Should a player or club be sanctioned by the SFA for racism, then this should be a matter of public record, yet this does not appear to have happened to date.”

A principal hearing date has been set for April 29.

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