Football’s governing body, FIFA says it is investigating racial abuse aimed at England players, Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham during Thursday’s 4-0 win over Hungary in a World Cup qualifier in Budapest.
England’s players were booed as they took a knee before the match at the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena to protest against racism, while racist chants could be heard during the match as Sterling and Bellingham were the targets of abuse.
In the second half, Sterling was pelted with paper cups and bottles when he opened the scoring for England while a flare was later thrown on to the pitch after Harry Maguire put the visitors 3-0 ahead.
UEFA ordered Hungary to play three home games behind closed doors after fans’ discriminatory behaviour which took place during Euro 2020 in June.
But fans were allowed in on Thursday as the Hungarian FA say the game is under Fifa’s jurisdiction.
While Uefa manage World Cup qualifiers involving European teams, World Cup qualifiers are organized by Fifa.
Football’s world governing body, Fifa, said it “will take adequate actions” once it receives reports from match officials and delegates who were at the game.
“Fifa strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behaviour in football,” the game’s global governing body said.
Anti-discrimination bodies Kick It Out, Show Racism the Red Card and Fare criticised Fifa and Uefa for their handling of Hungary’s existing ban and allowing fans into the stadium.
“The question for us is why Fifa didn’t act to prevent this, and why the global football system didn’t work together to prevent this,” Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett said.
“All I’m hearing again thus far is excuses about who should file what paperwork and who should file permission for X, Y and Z.”
England condemned the abuse as “completely unacceptable”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Fifa “to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”
On Friday, September 3, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association said “loopholes” that meant the game was not behind closed doors most be addressed.
“Global football governing bodies need to demonstrate that these behaviours will never be tolerated in our game,” the players’ union said.
“We demand they issue the strongest sanctions possible, such as lifetime stadium bans.”