'Should be ashamed': Football world rages over 'disgusting' scenes

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·Sports Editor
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England players, pictured here being booed for taking a knee before their clash with Hungary.
England players were booed for taking a knee before their clash with Hungary. Image: ITV

The football world was left disgusted on Thursday when England players were booed for kneeling and allegedly racially abused in Hungary.

England players were reportedly targeted with racial abuse by some Hungary supporters during their World Cup qualifier in Budapest.

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British broadcasters ITV and Sky Sports said their pitch-side reporters heard racist 'monkey chants' aimed at England players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.

England players took a knee before the match kicked off in an anti-racist gesture and were loudly booed by fans in attendance at the Puskas Arena.

Sterling was then pelted with plastic cups by fans after he scored the opening goal in the second half and celebrated by the corner flag near to Hungary's hardcore 'ultras' fans.

England manager Gareth Southgate said supporters who jeer the taking of the knee and aim racist abuse at players will be regarded as "dinosaurs."

He said he was not aware of the racist incidents during the game but reiterated the team's stance on racism.

"I can only go off what you are telling me and if that is the case then we know it is unacceptable," he told Sky Sports.

"We weren't conscious of it on the side and I don't know whether the players on the pitch were but I think everyone knows what we have talked about for two or three years.

"They know what we stand for as a team and we have to hope that we can continue to eradicate racism from not only football but life in general."

Fans took to social media to condemn the 'disgusting' scenes.

England hits out over 'unacceptable atmosphere'

England defender John Stones was one of several England players who said they had not heard the racist noises.

"Personally I didn't hear it, but was told about it after. It's so sad to think about that this happens at our games," he said.

"I hope UEFA or whoever needs to take care of it does. 

"We stand together as a team and did do before the game and we will continue fighting for what we believe in as a team and what we think is right."

England players, pictured here being pelted with cups and allegedly racially abused.
England players were pelted with cups and allegedly racially abused. (Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images)

England star Jack Grealish hit out at the atmosphere at the Puskas Arena, writing on Twitter: "Brilliant win in an unacceptable atmosphere. Well done though boys."

Hungary were punished by European soccer governing body UEFA after incidents involving homophobia and racism at games during Euro 2020. 

They must play their next two UEFA matches behind closed doors. Thursday's game was officially in a FIFA competition.

The Football Association said in a statement: "It is extremely disappointing to hear reports of discriminatory actions towards some of our England players.

"We will be asking FIFA to investigate the matter.

"We continue to support the players and staff in our collective determination to highlight and tackle discrimination in all its forms."

with AAP

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