UK PM urges FIFA to act on racist taunts

·2-min read

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on world soccer's governing body FIFA to take action over "disgraceful" racist abuse aimed at England players by Hungary fans during a World Cup qualifier.

"It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night," Johnson said on Twitter on Friday.

He urged FIFA to take "strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good."

England players were targeted with racial abuse by some Hungary supporters during Thursday's World Cup qualifier in Budapest that England won 4-0, British broadcasters reported.

ITV and Sky Sports said their reporters heard monkey chants being aimed at England forward Raheem Sterling and substitute Jude Bellingham.

Sterling was also pelted with cups after scoring England's opening goal.

FIFA promised it would take "adequate actions"

"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," a statement from the governing body read.

"FIFA will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday's Hungary-England game.

"With regards to the previous UEFA sanction against Hungary, please note that as specified by UEFA at the time, this sanction is to be served in UEFA competitions."

Hungary were given a two-match stadium ban by European football's governing body UEFA as recently as July after allegations of racist chanting and homophobic banners being displayed during Euro 2020 matches against France and Portugal.

However, the ban could not be extended or carried over into the World Cup qualifier against England because it is a FIFA competition.

The Hungarian federation has issued a statement pledging two-year bans for any supporters guilty of misconduct, although its statement did not explicitly acknowledge any racist behaviour.

"The vast majority of the 60,000 fans present in the Puskas Arena supported the teams in a sporting manner, cheering on the Hungarian national team even when the team was already losing.

"It is in their defence that the minority of disruptive ticket-holders need to be identified and severely punished.

"Fans entering the field of play, throwing flares and plastic cups are in the process of being identified.

"The MLSZ has already filed or will file police reports against them and will pass on any financial penalties to the perpetrators through civil litigation.

"Furthermore, at the end of proceedings, those found guilty can expect a two-year ban from all sporting events."

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