Weekly newsletter

England-Hungary Under FIFA Investigation after Match Violence

Ábrahám Vass 2021.10.15.

The recent England-Hungary World Cup qualifier, where the national team heroically drew with the hosts, is under investigation, threatening the Hungarian national team with a further game to be held behind closed doors. According to the Foreign Minister, two fans are in custody.  

As we previously reported, the Hungarian national team managed to draw with the fresh Euro silver medalists in Wembley on Tuesday (1-1) which meant that England lost points in Wembley for the first time after twenty-one victories.

However, the match wasn’t free of disruptions. First, some English fans booed the Hungarian national anthem, while the few Hungarians present booed kneeling English players. Then, in the opening minutes, police officers appeared in the sector to arrest a misbehaving fan. However, other fans did not let them through and clashed with  police. After a short but intense fight, with Polish fans also joining in (who arrived to support Hungary), police were apparently forced to leave the sector but the troublemaker was taken into custody.

Nemzeti Sport, meanwhile, claims that it wasn’t a racist insult towards the stewards that led to the police intervention. In reference to unnamed sources, the pro-government sports daily states that the banner, protesting against the players kneeling, could have in fact provoked the police to enter into the sector.

Anyhow, both the English Federation (FA) and FIFA have begun investigations, which could easily result in another one of Hungary’s games to be held behind closed doors. As a matter fact, Hungary is currently serving a suspended stadium ban due to the scandals in Budapest last month (while the match against Albania last Saturday had to be held without spectators for the same reasons). If FIFA decides to activate that suspended sanction, it would probably affect Hungary’s November fixture against San Marino.

Fact

Back in July, European Football body UEFA ordered three (the third one is suspended) of the national team’s upcoming European football games to be held behind closed doors, pointing to fans’ ‘discriminatory behavior’ in Hungary’s EURO games.

One Hungarian, one Polish fan in custody

According to the Guardian, which refers to information from the Metropolitan Police, six people were arrested in and after the game, with three arrests taking place inside the stadium: one for a racially aggravated offense and two on suspicion of affray.

While according to Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó’s report made one day after the game, two fans were still in custody at that point: one Hungarian and one Polish. There has not been any information about their release ever since.

featured image via Hungarian Football Assoc. (MLSZ)- Facebook