In pictures: Hungary v England
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FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings into reports of racism aimed at players during England’s 4-0 win against Hungary on Thursday night. England coasted to victory in Budapest, but supporters in the stands were reported to have targeted Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham with racist abuse.
England were loudly booed before kick-off as the starting 11, bench, and staff took the knee in a symbolic stance against racism in football.
After a closely contested first half, the floodgates opened after the break as the Three Lions roared to a dominant victory.
Sterling opened the scoring and was the target of cups thrown from the stands during his celebration.
Harry Kane doubled the lead and was also bombarded by cups before Harry Maguire and Declan Rice added a third and fourth.
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The result was unsurprisingly overshadowed by discriminatory behaviour among the supporters present, to which FIFA has now reacted.
A statement on Friday read: “Following analysis of the match reports, FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings concerning the incidents last night at the game Hungary-England.
“Once again, FIFA would like to state that our position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse.
“We have a very clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviours in football.”
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After full-time, England manager Gareth Southgate explained he wasn’t aware of the abuse during the game but will continue to fight against racism in and outside of football.
“We weren’t conscious of it on the side,” Southgate told Sky Sports.
“I don’t know if the players on the pitch were. But everyone knows what we’ve spoken about for two or three years.
“They know what we stand for as a team and we have to hope we can continue to eradicate racism not only in football but from life in general.”
After the sombre triumph at the Puskas Arena, The FA urged FIFA to react to the abuse England players received from the crowd.
Reports from inside the stadium suggested ‘sporadic monkey chants’ were heard from various areas of the crowd present, especially when Sterling was in possession.
In July, Hungary were hit with a stadium ban by UEFA, but it wasn’t carried over into the World Cup qualifiers.
FIFA may impose another ban for the nation’s remaining qualifiers, preventing fans from entering the Puskas Arena.
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