Alan Pardew leaves CSKA Sofia in protest after Black players racially abused by own fans

Alan Pardew has left his managerial and technical director role at CSKA Sofia in protest after his Black players were racially abused by the club's own supporters.

Pardew and Alex Dyer, the club's first Black assistant manager, have departed with immediate effect, citing the racist abuse of Sofia players.

CSKA lost to bitter rivals Levski Sofia in the Bulgaria Cup final last month and before their next game against Botev Plovdiv, four of the team's Black players had bananas thrown at them by fans.

The squad initially refused to play the game but subsequently took to the pitch and Pardew said the incident played a role in him deciding to leave the club.

"The events before and after the match against Botev Plovdiv were unacceptable not only for me, but also for my assistant Alex Dyer and for my players," he told the club's official website.

"Our players decided to play out of loyalty towards the club. This small group of organised racist fans, who tried to sabotage the game, are not the fans I want to coach the team in front of. That's definitely not the right way for CSKA because such club deserves a lot more.

"I would want to express my gratitude towards all true CSKA fans for their support and passion. I also want to thank Grisha and Dani Ganchev [the club owners] for their efforts to bring the club forward despite all the challenges and circumstances.

"It's been a privilege and honour to serve this great club. Unfortunately, my time here has come to an end."