Hungary must play next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors

Punishment follows the racist abuse aimed by their fans at England players

Hungary have been ordered to play two home Fifa competition matches behind closed doors. Photograph: Zsolt Szigetvary/EPA

Hungary have been ordered to play two home Fifa competition matches behind closed doors. Photograph: Zsolt Szigetvary/EPA

 

Hungary must play their next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors and pay a fine of 200,000 Swiss francs (€185,000) as punishment for the racist abuse aimed by their fans at England players in Budapest this month.

Fifa handed down the sanction after a section of Hungary supporters targeted Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham with monkey chants during England’s 4-0 win in a World Cup qualifier on September 2nd. A suspended penalty of a second game without spectators was also imposed by Fifa’s disciplinary committee for a probationary period of two years.

In July Hungary were ordered to play their next three Uefa home competition matches without supporters after incidents of racism and homophobia at Euro 2020, with one of those games suspended for two years. Those sanctions will apply in the Nations League next year.

Hungary’s next World Cup qualifier is at home to Albania on October 9th. Fifa said the punishment covered “racist words and actions, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks (and) blocked stairways”. Plastic cups were hurled at England players during the match.

“Fifa’s position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse,” the world governing body said.

The fine dwarfs the 20,000 Swiss francs the Hungarian FA was ordered to pay by Fifa in 2017 for homophobic chants directed at Cristiano Ronaldo during a World Cup qualifier against Portugal. - Guardian

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