Fifa has said it will take “adequate actions” on racist abuse directed at England players once it has received match reports from Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary in Budapest.
The statement from world football’s governing body came on a morning when Boris Johnson led the condemnation of the abuse and called on Fifa to act. Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were targeted with monkey chants during the match, which England won 4-0.
The prime minister tweeted: “It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary last night. I urge FIFA to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”
Fifa said in a statement: “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. Fifa will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday’s Hungary-England game.”
Fifa will be expected to open disciplinary proceedings against the Hungarian federation. Its regulations provide for reoffenders to be deducted points, ordered to play behind closed doors and even expelled from competitions.
Hungary were given a two-match stadium ban by Uefa in July after European football’s governing body ruled that their fans engaged in “discriminatory behaviour” at all three Euro 2020 group matches.
The ban did not come into effect for the World Cup qualifier against England because it is a Fifa competition.
On Friday Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, Peter Szijjarto, posted a video on Facebook of England fans loudly booing Italy’s national anthem before the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. He wrote: “England players are complaining about last night’s ‘hostile atmosphere in Budapest.’ The footage below was recorded in Wembley before the European Championship final. You can barely hear the Italian anthem over the whistling England supporters. Did they make similar comments back then???”
England’s players were also booed before kick-off in Budapest as they took the knee as a gesture against racism. Some England supporters have also booed the gesture over recent months.
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out’s CEO said: “Kick It Out was appalled to see the actions of some Hungary fans last night. We stand proudly in support of the England players and staff, who once again acted with strength, grace and integrity in the face of racism that has no place in our game or our society.
“This is not the first incident like this in Hungary, so we urge Fifa to investigate this matter urgently. Those responsible need to be held to account and steps need to be taken to ensure scenes like last night are not repeated.”
Hungary fans also threw cups at England players and a flare on to the pitch.