Hungary v England: Fifa investigating racial abuse aimed at players at Puskas Arena

Fifa is investigating racial abuse aimed at England players during Thursday’s 4-0 win over Hungary in a World Cup qualifier in Budapest.

Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were both targeted.

England condemned the abuse as “completely unacceptable”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Fifa “to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”

On Friday, Johnson tweeted: “It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night.”

Football’s world governing body, Fifa, said it “will take adequate actions” once it receives reports from match officials and delegates who were at the game.

Despite Uefa ordering Hungary to play three home games behind closed doors after fans’ discriminatory behaviour, fans were allowed in on Thursday as the game came under Fifa’s jurisdiction.

The Uefa ban relates to racism and other discriminatory conduct which took place during Euro 2020 in June.

While Uefa manage World Cup qualifiers involving European teams, Fifa is able to take action because it is their competition.

“Fifa strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behaviour in football,” the game’s global governing body said.

Fifa and Uefa criticised for allowing fans to attend

Anti-discrimination bodies Kick It Out, Show Racism the Red Card and Fare criticised Fifa and Uefa for their handling of Hungary’s existing ban.

“The question for us is why Fifa didn’t act to prevent this, and why the global football system didn’t work together to prevent this,” Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett said.

“All I’m hearing again thus far is excuses about who should file what paperwork and who should file permission for X, Y and Z.”

Fare executive director Piara Powar said having fans allowed to attend in Budapest was an example of the “system falling apart” as Uefa and Fifa try to deal with racism.

Powar also confirmed that the The Fare Network – an organisation trying to fight inequality in football – would provide authorities with a report of their own from the game, including video footage.

Ged Grebby, chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card, told BBC 5 Live that England manager Gareth Southgate was right to say England should “get its own house in order” before criticising others for their behaviour following a numerous instances of racism in the game.

Grebby also added that a “long-term education programme” should be put in place to help tackle racism in Hungarian football.

The Professional Footballers’ Association said “loopholes” that meant the game was not behind closed doors most be addressed.

“Global football governing bodies need to demonstrate that these behaviours will never be tolerated in our game,” the players’ union said.

“We demand they issue the strongest sanctions possible, such as lifetime stadium bans.”



Z24 News

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