Hungary fined and given one-match fan ban by FIFA for racist abuse

Hungary will have to play its next FIFA World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after being racially insulted by its supporters. The team will …

Hungary will have to play its next FIFA World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after being racially insulted by its supporters.

The team will now have to play their FIFA qualifier against Albania next month without a spectator.

Hungary was also fined 200,000 Swiss francs (€ 184,700) by FIFA on Tuesday, one of the heaviest fines ever imposed.

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee ruled that there had been “racist behavior by numerous supporters” during their game against England earlier this month.

Monkey chants were reportedly directed by supporters to English players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.

Hungarian fans used “racist words and actions, threw objects, set off fireworks and blocked stairs,” FIFA said in a statement at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

If there is any future abuse, the team will have to play another FIFA game without spectators, with a “two-year grace period”.

Hungary had already been ordered by UEFA to play its next three home games behind closed doors following the discriminatory behavior of the fans at EURO 2020, but the ban had not yet been implemented.

“The FIFA ban on Hungary for racism and the heavy fine are welcome and a signal from FIFA to renew its determination to punish racism,” Piara Powar, director of the anti-racism network FARE, told The Associated Press.

Powar added, however, that the penalties will not permanently solve “the problem of racism” in Hungarian football stadiums.

“If all Hungarian crimes had been taken into account, they would have been excluded from the World Cup and remedial action would have been taken,” said Powar.

“There should be better coordination between confederations like UEFA and FIFA.”

FIFA had been asked by the British government to take action against racist abuse. The organizing body said it condemned “all forms of racism and violence, as well as any other form of discrimination or abuse”.

“FIFA has a clear zero tolerance stance on such horrific behavior in football,” she added.

The Hungarian Football Association said it had made a complaint “against the identified perpetrators of the crimes committed during the match”.

However, the association said the FIFA penalties were “counterproductive” and unfair and announced that they would be able to appeal the decision.

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