Leagues

Hungary fans, police clash at England game at Wembley

England‘s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley Stadium was marred by Hungarian supporters clashing with security staff and baton-wielding police inside the ground on Tuesday.

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A small section of the stadium housing up to 1,000 Hungary supporters erupted into violence less than five minutes into the game after a large number of fans dressed in black t-shirts — the unofficial uniform of the so-called Hungarian ultras — charged up the concourse and steps to clash with police and stewards.

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Supporters were seen throwing punches at police before a sizeable group charged through a narrow tunnel into the main concourse area.

Although the disorder settled down inside a minute, riot police wearing body armour and visors then returned to support Wembley’s own stewarding team.

London’s Metropolitan Police said they had taken action after racial abuse of a steward.

“Shortly after the start of tonight’s match at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward.

“As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators. Order was quickly restored and there have been no further incidents at this stage.”

The disturbance was followed by the release of a green flare by Hungarian fans after Roland Sallai‘s penalty opener for the visitors on 24 minutes.

England’s Football Association stated: “We are aware of an incident in the away section during tonight’s FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifier at Wembley Stadium. We will be investigating and will report the incident to FIFA.”

Tuesday’s incidents will lead to more scrutiny of the Hungarian supporters and likely sanctions by FIFA. The country’s national football federation has already been fined £158,000 and given a stadium ban by football’s governing body after disturbances during September’s game between the two teams in Budapest.

In that match, players were hit with objects thrown from the stands and Black players from England’s squad were subjected to racist abuse.

The Hungarian Football Federation was also fined €100,000 and hit with a three-game stadium ban by UEFA earlier this year after discriminatory behaviour of fans in Budapest during games staged in the Puskas Arena during Euro 2020.

Wembley’s ability to control supporters has also been subject of criticism following extensive trouble at the stadium before and during the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy when hundreds of fans charged barriers to gain entry.

England’s FA could also be sanctioned for the flare on the pitch at Tuesday’s game as it is their responsibility to ensure safety at home stadiums during qualifying matches.

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