FIFA Issues Hungary One-Match Fan Ban, Fine for Racist Abuse

London (AFP) – FIFA ordered Hungary to play its next World Cup qualifying match without spectators on Tuesday as punishment for the recent racist abuse of its supporters when England played in Budapest.

The monkey chants went to English forward Raheem Sterling and unused substitute Judd Bellingham, who is black, at Puskas Arena on September 2. The Hungarian Federation was also fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($ 217,000), one of the largest financial penalties ever imposed on A. Estado by the global governing body.

In a sign of a systemic problem with racism from Hungarian fans, the sanction prolongs the country’s series of matches in empty stadiums due to racism in the 2014 and 2022 World Cup qualifiers and Euro 2016.

The team will have to play another FIFA match without a hearing if there are incidents of abuse in the future, with the second match suspended from penalty for a two-year probationary period.

“FIFA’s ban on Hungary for racism and the massive fine are welcome and a sign from FIFA of a renewed determination to punish racism,” Piara Pawar, executive director of the anti-racism network FARE, told The Associated Press. But this also means that Hungary will ban the use of two different football bodies at European and international level at the same time, the escalation principle has not been applied and it will not address the problem of racism within Hungarian stadiums in the long term. ”

Hungary’s September 2 game against England in Budapest would have already been played without spectators if FIFA had received a sanction from UEFA for discriminatory abuse during Eurocup matches. The ban on both matches will apply to spectators next June during the Nations League.

Hungary will have to host Albania on October 9 in an empty stadium for their next World Cup qualifying match.

“This case highlights the need to ensure that there are regulations that ensure consistency of approach across all governing bodies,” Power said. “If all of Hungary’s crimes were taken into account, they would face exclusion from the World Cup and corrective action could have been taken. There needs to be better coordination between confederations, such as UEFA and FIFA, to coordinate the job”.

In this case, UEFA should have asked FIFA to apply the previous penalty, and Hungary’s match against England was played behind closed doors. An administrative loophole allowed racism to flourish.”

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee ruled that there was “racist behavior by many fans” during this month’s England match, which was played in front of a crowd of about 60,000 people at the Puskas Arena.

The ruling came “after analyzing and taking into account all the circumstances of the case and specifically the seriousness of the incidents,” FIFA said in a statement that highlighted “racist words and actions, throwing objects, setting off fireworks, closed stairs” by Hungary. fans.

FIFA’s claim of adopting a “clear zero-tolerance stance against such abhorrent conduct in football” has been challenged by the organization against racism in English football.

“What does a zero-tolerance approach even mean? Words that read well in print but won’t actually stick to them,” tweeted Kick It Out’s head of development, Troy Townsend. “Anyway, we have our own problems and we don’t go that far with penalties.”