Hungary hit back at England: Foreign minister says racist abuse of Raheem Sterling and Co is ‘SIMILAR’ to fans booing Italy’s national anthem… as their FA hail supporters with NO MENTION of racism
- England players suffered racist abuse during World Cup qualifier in Budapest
- Monkey chants were heard directed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham
- Abuse was also directed at Three Lions when they took the knee before game
- But Foreign Minister Peter Sziijarto posted a video on Facebook of the Italy anthem being booed at Wembley, apparently comparing the incidents
Hungary’s foreign minister has hit back over complaints about racist abuse of England players during their World Cup qualifier in Budapest by highlighting how Three Lions’ fans booed the Italian national anthem at Wembley, prior to the Euro 2020 final.
Peter Sziijarto posted a video on Facebook of the Italy anthem being booed on July 11 in London with the caption: ‘England players are complaining about last night’s ‘hostile atmosphere in Budapest…. Did they make similar comments back then?’
Mr Sziijarto makes no mention of the loud abuse directed at England players when they took the knee in an anti-racism gesture in front of 60,000 supporters at the Puskas Arena, prior to kick off.
Neither does the politician address the monkey chants aimed Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham during the game, while Sterling was pelted by a number of plastic cups thrown from a section of the home crowd after scoring the first goal
Elsewhere, the behaviour of the Hungary fans has sparked widespread condemnation, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Keir Starmer and England manager, Gareth Southgate.
They condemned the scenes as ‘unacceptable’.
FIFA have launched a probe into a number of vile incidents during England’s win in Hungary (pictured: Raheem Sterling being targeted by cups after opening the scoring)
Racial chants were also directed at teen Jude Bellingham while he warmed up during the game
The Football Association of Hungary also avoided any reference to racism when it issued a statement today about the conduct of fans at the game, which England won 4-0.
‘The vast majority of the sixty thousand fans visiting the Puskás Arena are sporting, and it is in their defence that the disruptors need to be identified and severely punished,’ it said.
FIFA has announced it is conducting an investigation into events in Budapest and is awaiting reports from monitors and delegates at the game.
A statement said: ‘First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behaviour in football.
Winger Sterling was subjected to monkey chants by sections of the home crowd in Budapest
‘FIFA will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday’s Hungary-England game.
Questions are being asked about why fans were in the stadium at all. UEFA has already banned Hungary’s supporters for three matches following racist and homophobic abuse during games in Euro 2020.
They were ordered to play behind closed doors by UEFA after incidents against France and Portugal, although the third game has been suspended for a probationary period of two years. A fine of £85,000 was also meted out.
Bizarrely, that ban does not apply to FIFA fixtures, so more than 60,000 fans were allowed to attend the World Cup qualifier.
The game was placed on a ‘red list’ by FIFA because of the high risk of racist and homophobic abuse breaking out
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the racial abuse as being ‘completely unacceptable’
Prime Minister Johnson said today: ‘It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night.
‘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.’
Southgate, meanwhile, added: ‘It’s not acceptable. We have taken our stance, took the knee, right thing, I don’t think the group of players that we’ve had could be doing anything more for that cause.’