FIFA investigating Hungary racist abuse reports as England boss Gareth Southgate hits out at 'dinosaurs'
“It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night,” United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday. “I urge FIFA to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”
Declan Rice drinks from a discarded cup, Hungary v England, World Cup qualifying, Puskas Arena, Budapest, September 2, 2021
FIFA is investigating reports of racial abuse aimed at England players during the Three Lions’ 4-0 win over Hungary on Thursday, as England boss Gareth Southgate branded those hurling abuse 'dinosaurs'.
There were a series of unsavoury incidents during the course of the evening, with England players booed for taking a knee and plastic cups thrown at Raheem Sterling when he celebrated the opening goal.
It was also reported that Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham were subjected to racist abuse during the course of the 90 minutes.
Declan Rice produced an iconic response to the Hungary fans' hurling of cups at Sterling by picking one up and taking a drink, and he later took to social media to caption the image "silence the haters."
"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.
Raheem Sterling is abused by fans, Hungary v England, World Cup qualifying, Puskas Arena, Budapest, September 2, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
"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.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter on Friday to urge FIFA to take action.
“It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night,” Johnson
. “I urge FIFA to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”
England boss Southgate has said tough action needs to be taken if the abuse is proved to be of a racist nature, while he also said England had to get its own house in order.
Southgate was making reference to England players being booed by their own fans for taking a knee at Euro 2020, and the vile abuse hurled as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka for missing penalties in the final.
The England boss has been at the forefront of the fight against racism and he made his feelings known on the subject.
"They (the players) recognise the world is changing," Southgate said. "Although some people are stuck in their way of thinking and prejudices, they are going to be the dinosaurs in the end because the world is modernising."
Racism is a global problem, and FIFA is looking into the incidents on Thursday night - and will await reports from its officials in the stadium.
Hungary are subject to a three-match ban by UEFA for racist and homophobic incidents at Euro 2020, but Thursday’s game was played under FIFA jurisdiction - meaning 60,000 fans were allowed to attend the Puskas Arena.