England's Declan Rice, John Stones and Jack Grealish react after a flare is thrown on to the pitch by Hungary fans after Harry Maguire scored their third goal during their World Cup qualifier. Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
England's Declan Rice, John Stones and Jack Grealish react after a flare is thrown on to the pitch by Hungary fans after Harry Maguire scored their third goal during their World Cup qualifier. Photo: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Hungarian football body defends fans in racism row

By AFP Time of article published Sep 3, 2021

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BUDAPEST – The Hungarian Football Federation on Friday defended "the vast majority" of the country's supporters after England players suffered racist abuse at a World Cup qualifier in Budapest.

The body vowed to take action against fans who "entered the field, threw flares and cups" but insisted any "disruptors" were in the minority and, in a statement, did not refer to the racist abuse.

"The vast majority of the sixty thousand fans visiting the Puskas Arena supported the Hungarian national team in a sporting manner, even when the team was already losing," it said in a statement.

"It is in their defense that the disruptors need to be identified and severely punished."

The federation said fans identified and found guilty of having entered the field and thrown flares and cups would face a two-year disqualification from sporting events besides fines.

Monkey chants were directed at England players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham during Thursday's match at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, which the Euro 2020 runners-up won 4-0.

AFP

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