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Friday, September 17, 2021

FIFA probes racist abuse of England players in Hungary

FIFA says it will take adequate actions once it has investigated the racial abuse that England players faced in Hungary.

By: AP |
Updated: September 3, 2021 5:14:11 pm
England, Hungary, Rice, SterlingAfter plastic cups were pelted at Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice picked up one of those cups during celebrations and pretended to drink from it. (Twitter/Opta)

After England players faced racial abuse in Hungary, FIFA said on Friday that it will take adequate actions once it has investigated the incidents. The statement from FIFA stopped short of directly condemning Hungary fans for the abuse which included monkey chanting in Thursday night’s World Cup qualifier at Puskas Arena in Budapest England won 4-0.

“FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behavior in football,” the World soccer governing body said. “FIFA will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday’s Hungary-England game.

Hungary had recently been ordered to play two matches without fans but the sanction from UEFA didn’t take effect for the visit of England because the game was under FIFAs jurisdiction. The racist abuse has been condemned by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has been criticized for his own racially offensive comments in the past.

“It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night,” Johnson said on Twitter. “I urge FIFA to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”

England’s players were jeered for taking a knee, pelted with plastic cups after goals and then targeted with alleged racist chants.

Pitch side reporters for domestic broadcasters ITV and Sky Sports said they saw and heard individuals among the Hungary supporters behind one of the goals aim monkey chants at Raheem Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham.

The game was played in front of a crowd of 60,000 mostly Hungarian fans, two months after UEFA ordered the team to play three matches without fans — one of which was suspended for a probationary period of two years — as a punishment for what was termed discriminatory behaviour by its supporters at all three of its Euro 2020 group games.

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