FIFA have confirmed that they are investigating reports of racist abuse directed towards England players by a section of Hungary supporters in Thursday’s World Cup qualifier.
After England’s decision to take the knee before kick-off was met with a loud chorus of boos, winger Raheem Sterling was pelted by cups from the crowd and was also subjected to monkey chants, which were also directed towards substitute Jude Bellingham as well.
After the game, England boss Gareth Southgate confirmed that a report was in the process of being filed to FIFA, who have since opened an investigation into the incidents in question.
“Following analysis of the match reports, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings concerning the incidents last night at the game Hungary-England,” a statement read.
“Once again, FIFA would like to state that our position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse. We have a very clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviours in football.”
On top of the FIFA investigation, the Hungarian Football Association also confirmed that they had called in the police to punish anyone found guilty of racism or discriminatory behaviour during the game.
“The vast majority of the 60,000 fans in the Puskas Arena were sporting and encouraged the Hungarian national team even when they were already losing,” they said in a statement. “It is in their defence that the perpetrators need to be identified and severely punished.
“Fans entering the field, throwing flares and glasses, are being identified. The MLSZ has filed, and will continue to file, police reports against them. Any fines will be passed on to the perpetrators and they can expect a two-year ban from all sporting events at the end of their trials.”
The ugly scenes distracted from the actual match, which was won thanks to goals from Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice.