Allegations of racist chanting from a section of the home crowd marred England’s thumping win over Hungary in Budapest on Thursday night.
Monkey chants were reportedly aimed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham in the second half of the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Puskas Arena.
England’s players were also booed as they took the knee ahead of kick-off in the Group I clash, while a flare was thrown onto the pitch and fans hurled cups and other debris at celebrating England stars on an ugly night in the Hungarian capital.
Hungary have already been hit with a three-game stadium ban – with the third match suspended – by Uefa this summer following discriminatory behaviour by fans at Euro 2020 and further investigations are now likely to follow.
England were excellent after a dominant but frustrating first 45 minutes, with second-half goals from the magnificent Sterling, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice maintaining their unbeaten start on the road to Qatar in their first match since suffering Euro 2020 penalty shootout heartbreak against Italy at Wembley.
Follow Hungary vs England LIVE with Dan Kilpatrick in attendance in Budapest…
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has just tweeted the following:
“Another dominant England performance and a great result.
“But once again, our England team are subjected to disgusting racist abuse.
“Completely unacceptable behaviour. Strong action must be taken against Hungary to protect players and show racism has no place in football.”
Gareth Southgate reaction
“I have heard reports of racism and we were not aware of that during the game. I am not sure we were particularly sensible celebrating right in front of their fans with the flare but the racism is the key part. We try to take a right stand, we knew taking the knee would get an adverse reaction and anything of that nature is unacceptable.”
Jack Grealish has called the atmosphere inside the Puskas Arena tonight “unacceptable” in a post-match tweet.
The Football Association have released the following statement after tonight’s reports of racist abuse in Budapest:
Harry Maguire was asked about those alleged racist chants by BBC Radio 5 Live…
“I have spoken to a couple of lads, I did not hear them myself and if it did happen then I am disappointed. Three, four of us did not hear them but you guys can hear them more clearly on TV.”
On Hungary fans booing the England players taking a knee, he said: “It was disappointing to hear the boos but it has happened in previous games, we knew what to expect but I am happy all the boys stood by it.”
Here’s John Stones’ reaction to that alleged racist chanting from a section of the Hungary crowd…
“I personally didn’t hear it, I’ve been told about it after. It is so sad to think that this happens at our games and I hope UEFA and whoever needs to take care of it does and I’m sure they will,” he said.
“We stand together as a team and we will continue fighting for what we believe in as as team and what we believe is right.I think we definitely have the mindset of ‘let the football do the talking’ and tonight we did that.
“We celebrated our goals as if it is the last one we will score at that is an incredible thing to have as a team and as players.
“We live the game and are so passionate for the shirt and how we conduct ourselves on the pitch. It is our passion, let our football do the talking and that showed tonight.”
Harry Kane is asked about those alleged monkey chants in his post-match interview with ITV…
“I didn’t hear that. I will talk to the boys and see if they heard. We will have to report to Uefa. If it is the case, hopefully Uefa will come down strong.”
A thumping win for the Three Lions after a superb second half and they keep up their 100 per cent start to 2022 World Cup qualifying in Group I ahead of upcoming matches against Andorra and Poland.
But the action on the pitch is once again overshadowed by terrible behaviour from some of the home fans and reports of sickening racist abuse aimed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.
GOAL! Hungary 0-4 England | Declan Rice 86’
86 mins: It’s four as Rice’s rather tame low strike gets past Gulacsi, who makes an absolute hash of trying to keep it out.
England laughing in the face of all the ugly provocation they have received from the stands tonight.
What a squad and group of players this is.
More on those reports of racist behaviour from a section of the Hungary crowd inside the Puskas Arena when we get it.