Hungary v England match: FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings over racism during game in Budapest

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings over the racist abuse aimed at England’s footballers during the match against Hungary.

World football’s governing body said their “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,” it added.

Boris Johnson has condemned the monkey chants directed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham by members of the crowd at the stadium in Budapest on Thursday night.

In a tweet, the prime minister said: “It is completely unacceptable that @England players were racially abused in Hungary last night.

“I urge @FIFAcom to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”

Mr Johnson was criticised earlier this year for hosting Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who has referred to refugees as “Muslim invaders”.

Hungary were ordered by European football body UEFA to play two games behind closed doors, following the behaviour of fans at Euro 2020, which was held this summer.

However, the sanction did not extend to World Cup qualifiers, like the game against England which was under the jurisdiction of FIFA.

The next game to be affected by the ban will be the UEFA Nations League next year.

Speaking from the stadium, Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett said he heard “sporadic monkey chants from various areas of the crowd” at the Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital.

They were “primarily towards Raheem Sterling when he touched the ball”, Dorsett added.

He said: “I have seen four separate individuals specifically involved in the racist chanting. The most recent of those was directed at Jude Bellingham, as he warmed up right in front of us, and close to the Hungarian ultras.

“They have been sporadic pockets of racist abuse we have seen, but they are nonetheless clear.”

Sterling, who scored England’s first goal in the team’s 4-0 victory, was “pelted by cups thrown from the crowd” while celebrating, and a BBC reporter also said she saw abuse directed at 18-year-old Bellingham while he warmed up.

In a statement, the Football Association said: “It is extremely disappointing to hear reports of discriminatory actions towards some of our England players.”

They said they continue to support the players and staff in their “collective determination to highlight and tackle discrimination in all its forms”.

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Speaking following the game, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “[FIFA] have taken this fixture really seriously, they’re taking accounts on everything. I’m not really across all of the process of that [whether the FA would make a complaint]. I’m sure [FIFA] will gather evidence from different sources.”

England players were targeted with racist abuse on social media from the UK following their loss to Italy in the final of the Euros.

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