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Thursday, October 28, 2021

FIFA slaps sanctions on Hungary fans for racism against players


FIFA suspended Hungary from having spectators in the next two home matches due to racist behaviour against England players.

FIFA imposed a ban and a substantial fine of 200,000 Swiss francs ($216,650) on the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) over “racist behaviour of numerous supporters” seen at a World Cup qualifying match against England.

During the match in Budapest on 2 September, Hungarian fans chanted “monkey sounds” at England’s Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.

A request by the English Football Association to investigate the incident led the global football governing body to impose “adequate action” after receiving match reports from officials who were present at the Puskas Arena at the time.

FIFA immediately issued a statement clarifying its stance, saying “first and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behaviour in football.”

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On the other hand, the Union of European Football Associations said “UEFA strongly condemns any discriminatory/racist behaviour and we will continue to lead the fight against racism and discrimination in the game.”

It noted that “the alleged incidents happened in a FIFA competition and do therefore not fall under the jurisdiction of our disciplinary bodies.”

FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has taken into consideration the “seriousness” of the incident which included “racist words and actions, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, blocked stairways,” according to a statement on Tuesday. 

“The Committee decided that the MLSZ would play its next two home matches in FIFA competitions without spectators, the second match being suspended for a probationary period of two years,” it said. 

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FIFA reiterated its position “in rejecting any form of racism and violence as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse.” 

The football body sais it “takes a clear zero tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football.”

It noted that the Disciplinary Committee’s decision was relayed to the MLSZ.

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