Wednesday, 27 Oct 2021

‘Zero-tolerance’ FIFA to investigate ‘abhorrent behaviour’ after Wembley clash

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The football federation has released a statement, pledging to investigate what happened at Wembley Stadium at the start of the World Cup qualifier game between Hungary and England. Hungarian fans were seen physically clashing with police officers during the first 10 minutes of the game.

Police appeared to use batons in an attempt to restore order, but they were overwhelmed and forced back onto the concourse.

On Twitter, The Metropolitan Police revealed the reason for their intervention in the first place.

They said: “Shortly after the start of tonight’s match at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence after comments made towards a steward.

“As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators. Order was quickly restored and there have been no further incidents at this stage.”

Hungarian supporters were also seen with a banner expressing opposition to players taking the knee and they were heard booing when English players engaged in the anti-racism gesture popularized by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick before kick-off.

On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement and reiterated its “zero-tolerance stance” regarding racist abuse.

“Following an analysis of the match reports, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings in relation to yesterday’s England v Hungary and Albania v Poland FIFA World Cup qualifier matches,” said the organisation.

“Once again, FIFA strongly condemns the incidents at both matches and would like to state that its position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of violence as well as any form of discrimination or abuse.

“FIFA has a very clear zero-tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football.”

The federation applied sanctions to the Hungary team in the past following similar incidents.

They were fined £158,000 after Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling were targeted with monkey chants by Hungarian supporters when England won 4-0 in September.

28-year-old footballer Tyrone Mings said that England’s players were not fazed by Hungary’s fans booing the knee.

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“We’ve faced criticism for taking the knee and we have collectively stood passionately together,” the England defender said.

“That has carried us as a squad. It doesn’t change when people hold banners or disagree.”

Hungary’s manager, Marco Rossi, refused to talk about the behaviour of his team’s supporters.

“I don’t want to comment on this situation,” he said.

“It is not my task.

“Everything I could say could be interpreted in a different way.”

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