Fifa hand Hungary two-match stadium ban, with one of those matches suspended, for fans’ racism v England

Hungary was ordered to play two home matches in closed-door FIFA competition, one of them suspended for two years, due to racist behavior by fans in the World Cup qualifying match against England earlier in this month.

Raheem Sterling and Judd Bellingham were attacked with monkey chants during the September 2 game in Budapest, which England won 4-0.

In addition to the ban on the stadium, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee imposed a fine of 200,000 Swiss francs (just under 185,000 euros).

And the FIFA statement said: “After analyzing and taking into account all the circumstances of the case, specifically the gravity of the events (racist words and actions, throwing things, setting off fireworks, blocking stairs), the Committee decided to play the next two home games in non-spectator FIFA competitions, and the second game was suspended for a two-year probationary period.

FIFA’s position stands firm and firm in rejecting any form of racism, violence and any other form of discrimination or abuse. FIFA takes a clear position of zero tolerance for such abhorrent behavior in football. ”

FIFA opened proceedings against Hungary the day after the match, but football authorities were criticized for failing to lift the UEFA stadium ban in July over racist chants and anti-gay banners in the World Cup qualifiers, which they are supervised by FIFA.

UEFA’s sanctions won’t take effect until next year’s Nations League. Article 66 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code allows continental associations such as UEFA to request an extension of the sanction in a FIFA competition, but UEFA sources insisted at the time of the incident against England that their own regulations prevented them. do it.

Kick It Out Executive Director Tony Burnett told the Palestinian Authority News Agency that the violations are “preventable and predictable.”

The PFA also condemned the abuse and urged FIFA and UEFA to close the regulatory “loophole”.

It is also understood that the FIFA Disciplinary Committee failed to take into account the previous infringement that had been approved by UEFA just two months ago. Once again, the sources cited the fact that Article 66 was not invoked.

FIFA had promised “appropriate measures” after the incident and, despite the fact that the fine is much higher than those previously imposed on Hungary, it remains to be seen whether the wider football community will view this punishment in this way.

Bellingham tweeted the day after the game to say that racial abuse would be “part of the game” until the “appropriate penalties” are issued.

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand told the Palestinian Authority on September 10 that he expects a team to withdraw soon in response to such abuses, due to what the players consider an insufficient deterrent from the authorities.

“It will happen soon, the team will be out. I don’t know anything about England, but it will happen because the players feel more powerful to be able to do it,” he said.

“There’s more and more talk and it won’t feel unnatural because saying what you feel makes it more normal. So people will end up doing it unless the authorities really start putting things in place that deter these fans.

“For now, authorities say we’ll give you a pat on the wrist and a small fine, but it doesn’t affect the crowd, so there’s no deterrence to prevent fans from throwing that shit.”