‘England have their own issues but repeated Hungary offences need to be stamped out’

ANDY DUNN’S COLUMN: The Football Association might want to have yet another look at their security arrangements but at the same time, FIFA should be having another look at the Hungarian fans

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  • 22:16, 12 Oct 2021
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After Roland Sallai drilled in Hungary ’s first half penalty, the visiting fans ignited a flare.

They managed to get a pyrotechnic into Wembley. Of course they did.

After all, thousands were bunking into this stadium for a major final three months ago. Sneaking in a firework must have been a doddle.

The Football Association – already facing punishment for the shambles that was the Euro 2020 final – might want to have yet another look at their security arrangements.

FIFA will.

But at the same time, they should be having another look at the Hungarian fans.

When are meaningful punishments going to be handed out to national teams whose fans regularly disgrace themselves?

Hungary fans clash with Police at Wembley
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Image:
Action Images via Reuters)

It is not as though the sight of what looked like ultras in black hoodies fighting with what few police happened to be inside Wembley should have come as a major shock.

This year alone, Hungary’s fans have been banned from home fixtures by both FIFA and UEFA for racist and homophobic behaviour.

So it was also hardly a surprise when some amongst a contingent of around a thousand Hungarian supporters jeered England players when they took the knee ahead of this game.

There was even a banner showing opposition to the anti-racism gesture.

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What started the violence was initially unclear but a statement from the Metropolitan Police at half-time made matters a little clearer.

“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,” read a Met statement.

And there you have it.

“As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators.”

It did not look overly ‘minor’ from where I was sitting.

As Gareth Southgate likes to point out – and is right to point out – English football has its own issues.

Hungary ultras in black hoodies fighting with police
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Image:
Action Images via Reuters)

Indeed, the FA faces FOUR charges from that shocking day when the Euro final was staged here.

UEFA could yet impose serious penalties for offences which included causing a disturbance during a national anthem.

So let’s not get all sanctimonious about the behaviour of others.

But it appears some Hungarian fans are serial offenders.

There will be an investigation into the trouble at Wembley but there is a general point that is now confirmed.

England drew 1-1 with Hungary
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Image:
FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The punishments handed out to nations whose supporters regularly misbehave – and we are not just talking Hungary here – are too lenient.

England will probably get off relatively lightly.

If UEFA and FIFA really want to crack down on disgraceful fan behaviour they need to start hitting the nations where it hurts.

They need to start threatening them with tournament bans.

Maybe then, we could get rid of the idiots who too often scar the beautiful game.

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