Hungary to play matches behind closed doors after racist behaviour of fans at England game

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Sterling is jeered by Hungary fans
Raheem Sterling was pelted with paper cups after scoring England's opener

Hungary have been ordered to play two matches behind closed doors by Fifa following the racism English players experienced at the World Cup qualifier in Budapest on 2 September.

However, the second ground closure is suspended for two years.

The Hungarian Football Federation has also been fined £158,400 (200,000 Swiss Francs).

"Fifa takes a clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football," read Fifa's statement.

The governing body added that it remained "firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse".

In June, Uefa fined the Hungarian federation £85,500 and ordered a three-game stadium closure, the final match being suspended, for discriminatory behaviour by their supporters during Euro 2020.

That sanction did not apply for England's visit as the World Cup qualifier was a Fifa game rather than being under the control of Uefa, who did not ask for the punishment to be transferred.

Fifa said it imposed the sanctions "after analysing and taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, specifically the seriousness of the incidents (racist words and actions, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, blocked stairways)".

I don’t think our players can do any more - Southgate

Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were both targeted, England players were pelted with objects in the second half and a flare was thrown on to the pitch by the home fans at Puskas Arena.

The England players were also booed as they took the knee before the match at the 67,000-capacity stadium.

Sterling was pelted with paper cups and bottles when he opened the scoring for England before a flare was thrown on to the pitch after Harry Maguire put Gareth Southgate's side 3-0 ahead.

Southgate also had ice thrown at him by fans during his post-match interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.

Kick It Out's head of development Troy Townsend tweeted: "What does 'zero tolerance approach' even mean? Words that read good in print but we'll never actually adhere to them.

"Anyway, we [in England] have our own problems and don't even go this far with punishments, so best leave alone."

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