Hungary Handed Two-Game Stadium Ban, Fine After Racial Abuse Of England Stars
Hungary have been handed a two-match stadium ban and a £160,000 fine after FIFA completed their investigation into the racist abuse England stars suffered.
The Three Lions thumped Hungary 4-0 in Budapest last month, but were targeted by home supporters with Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham both racially abused
Bottles were also thrown onto the pitch as England players celebrated their goals during the World Cup qualifying win.
And supporters will now be prohibited from attending Hungary’s next two qualifiers, although the second is suspended for a probationary period of two years.
In a statement, FIFA said;
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has imposed a ban and a substantial fine on the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) in relation to the racist behaviour of numerous supporters during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying match between Hungary and England on 2 September 2021.
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 (£160,000).
This is the third time Hungary have been sanctioned by FIFA, although their fine on this occasion is substantially higher than the £10,000 and £20,000 ones handed to them in 2016.
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.
UEFA already imposed a stadium ban on the Hungarian FA due to racist and homophobic banners on display during this summer’s European championships.
However, that didn’t carry over into the FIFA affiliated World Cup qualifiers, despite the world governing body having the chance to extend the punishment.
England manager, Gareth Southgate has previously urged decision makers to give his players more protection and hoped that suitable punishments would be handed out.
After the game, he said;
Our players can’t do anything more than they have done in the past two or three years in trying to get the right messages out, take the right stands, and it’s for other people to protect them. It’s for me to protect them in the main, but for the authorities to protect them as well.
It’s not fair to criticise all the Hungarian fans. A lot were very generous and behaved extremely well. The individuals that are responsible need to be dealt with.
I think there’s some evidence that people have been filmed and we’ve got to hope the authorities deal with that in the right way.