England vs Hungary: Why English players were racially abused

The Three Lions

England condemned the racial abuse targeted at some of her players when they played and defeated Hungary 4-0 in Budapest in a World Cup Qualifier.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham were both racially abused.

Charges related to racial abuse and other discriminatory conduct.

But home supporters were allowed in to the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena in Budapest against England as this match falls under FIFA jurisdiction.

The tone was set at kick-off when England’s players were loudly booed as they took a knee to protest against racism.

Hungary’s players and their head coach Marco Rossi had asked the supporters to respect England’s gesture before the match but the message fell on deaf ears.

The first half was otherwise uneventful on and off the field – but in the second half, Sterling was pelted with paper cups and bottles when he opened the scoring for England, while a flare was thrown on to the pitch after Harry Maguire put the visitors 3-0 ahead.

England manager Gareth Southgate had ice thrown at him by fans during his post-match interview with BBC Radio 5 Live. He said: “I’ve heard reports of racism, which I hadn’t heard during the game.

“Everyone knows what we stand for as a team, and that’s completely unacceptable. It has been reported. Our head of security has spoken to the players and taken their statement. We will deal with it in the right channels.

“I believe that people have been filmed and we have to hope it’s dealt with the right way.

“The world is modernising and although some people are stuck in their ways of thinking and their prejudices, they’re going to be the dinosaurs in the end because the world is changing.”

England captain Harry Kane, one of the scorers in a dominant 4-0 win, said: “I’ll talk to the boys. We’ll have to report it. If it’s the case, then hopefully the authorities can come down strong.”

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.”

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