FIFA finally took note of the racial abuse hurled towards England players earlier this month in Hungary.
During the England-Hungary match on September 2nd, Hungarian fans threw debris and shouted slurs at English players. They also booed heavily at the start when the English players took a knee in response to racism.
Unfortunately, fans also directed “monkey chants” towards winger Raheem Sterling, who scored in the match.
While the match occurred nearly three weeks ago, FIFA just handed out the punishment after a lengthy investigation.
The initial punishment is a £158,416 fine, along with a fan ban at Hungary’s home matches. Fans won’t be in attendance for 2 of the nation’s home matches, with the second match being in 2 years due to a probation period.
England ended up as 4-0 winners, but the behavior in the stadium stayed a relevant topic. England manager Gareth Southgate addressed the abuse post-match.
“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. 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.”Gareth Southgate
English players have endured racial abuse in the past, notably following the 2020 EURO Final, where the team lost in penalties to Italy. Even the nation’s fans exhibited racism following the loss.
Another example came in England’s 2019 match against Bulgaria, where similar behavior occurred.
FIFA put out a statement condemning racism, but some fans believe the punishment is too light.
“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. FIFA takes a clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football.”FIFA
England has another match against Hungary in October. However, this time it’s in England, so the reaction may be quite different from the nation’s away match in Hungary.