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England players booed and abused in World Cup qualifier

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on world soccer’s governing body FIFA on Friday (September 3) to take action over what he called “disgraceful” racist abuse aimed at England players by Hungary fans during a World Cup qualifier.

He urged FIFA to take “strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”

British broadcasters reported that England players were targeted with racial abuse by some Hungary supporters during Thursday’s (September 2) World Cup qualifier in Budapest that England won 4-0.

The England players were booed when they all took the knee before kick-off and were pelted with plastic bottles when celebrating one of the goals in their 4-0 victory. A flare thrown from the crowd also landed on the pitch during the match.

ITV and Sky Sports said their reporters heard monkey chants being aimed at England forward Raheem Sterling and substitute Jude Bellingham.

England’s Football Association have asked FIFA to investigate the matter.

Football’s international governing board said in a statement that it “strongly rejects any form of racism and violence. FIFA will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday’s Hungary-England game,” it added.

The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) were not immediately available for comment.

Hungary were punished by European soccer governing body UEFA after incidents involving homophobia and racism at Euro 2020 games. They must play their next two UEFA matches behind closed doors. Thursday’s game was officially in a FIFA competition and so the ban did not apply.


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