Hungary hit with stadium ban over fan racism during World Cup qualifier against England

·2-min read
Hungary hit with stadium ban over fan racism during World Cup qualifier against England

Hungary will play their next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after being hit with a stadium ban following the racist abuse of England players by fans during this month’s World Cup qualifier in Budapest.

Hungary have been handed a two-game ban, with the second of those suspended for two years, and fined 200,000 Swiss francs (over £158,000) by Fifa. They are due to host Albania in a crucial qualifier on October 9.

England players, including Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling, were subjected to monkey chants at the Puskas Arena on a night when home supporters also booed players for taking the knee ahead of kick-off.

Sterling was pelted with objects thrown from the crowd while celebrating England’s opener during the 4-0 win.

Hungary’s fans had already been hit with a two-game ban by Uefa, with a further game suspended, following incidents of racism and homophobia at the summer’s European Championship, but the World Cup qualifier fell under Fifa’s jurisdiction and therefore was allowed to be played infront of a capacity crowd.

A Fifa statement announcing the new punishment read: “After analysing and taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, specifically the seriousness of the incidents (racist words and actions, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, blocked stairways), the Committee decided that the MLSZ would play its next two home matches in FIFA competitions without spectators, the second match being suspended for a probationary period of two years.

“In addition, the Committee imposed a fine of CHF 200,000.

“FIFA’s position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse. FIFA takes a clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football.”

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