Hungary FA fail to address incidents of racist abuse during England game in statement

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Hungary’s football federation failed to directly address the specific racist abuse suffered by England players but they did pledge to impose two-year bans on any fans found guilty of misconduct.

On Friday, the federation (MLSZ) issued a statement in the wake of Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham being targeted by Hungary fans, who made monkey chants during the previous night’s World Cup qualifier in Budapest.

England players had already been booed before kick-off when they took the knee in a protest against racism and FIFA said today they are investigating.

Hungary have been hit with a two-match ban by UEFA following racist and homophobic abuse by their fans at Euro 2020 matches at the Puskas Arena, although that does not apply to FIFA games.

An MLSZ statement did contain references to missiles being thrown on the pitch but there was no mention of the specific incidents of racist abuse.

"The vast majority of the 60,000 fans present in the Puskas Arena supported the teams in a sporting manner, cheering on the Hungarian national team even when the team was already losing. It is in their defence that the minority of disruptive ticket-holders need to be identified and severely punished," the federation said.

"Fans entering the field of play, throwing flares and plastic cups are in the process of being identified. The MLSZ has already filed or will file police reports against them and will pass on any financial penalties to the perpetrators through civil litigation. Furthermore, at the end of proceedings, those found guilty can expect a two-year ban from all sporting events.

"The Hungarian federation and the players and head coach all made an extremely strong communication campaign before the game to call supporters to avoid all kind of racist, xenophobic behaviour during all matches of the national team."

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