Hungary Foreign Minister Brushes Off Racism Aimed At England Team
After racist abuse was reportedly aimed at England football players at last night’s match, Hungary’s foreign minister has hit back against the complaints.
The England team beat Hungary comprehensively during their World Cup qualifier match last night, September 2, walking away with a 4-0 victory at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium in Budapest.
However, England players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were reportedly targeted with racist abuse from fans, with spectators said to be throwing plastic cups and other objects at Sterling after he scored, while racist chants were heard throughout the game.
As well as the abuse directed at Sterling and Bellingham, the England team were booed for taking the knee before the game, The Independent reports.
Now, Hungary’s foreign minister Péter Szijjártó has responded to the complaints of racist abuse, posting a video on Facebook and writing: ‘English players complain about yesterday’s ‘hostile atmosphere in Budapest’. The following shot was taken at Wembley ahead of the European Championship final. The Italian anthem is hardly heard in the middle of the whistle concert of English fans. Did they make similar statements then anyway???’
After the match, prime minister Boris Johnson made his feelings clear about the situation, writing on Twitter: ‘It is completely unacceptable that @England players were racially abused in Hungary last night. I urge @FIFAcom to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.’
Hungary’s foreign minister also addressed this in another video, Hungary Today reports, saying, ‘Boris Johnson and I have a friendly relationship since we were counterparts as foreign ministers for a relatively long time. Therefore it is with all due respect that I say to the prime minister that we should finally stop applying double standards in issues as serious as this.’
Referring to the video of fans he had posted earlier, Szijjártó said ‘everyone could see how the English fans treated the Italian players in the Euro 2020 final’, adding: ‘The English fans were booing the Italian national anthem so loudly that you could hardly hear it, not to mention the insults that were flying during the match itself.’
In a statement, the Hungary Football Federation said ‘the disruptors need to be identified and severely punished’, and that those seen throwing objects ‘are being identified’ and a police report will be filed against them.
FIFA has also pledged to take ‘adequate action’ once it receives match reports, while Uefa has given the Hungarian Football Federation a €100,000 (£85,500) fine, BBC Sport reports.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk