Baton-wielding cops and fans clash in violent scenes after ‘racially-aggravated incident’ during England game with Hungary (VIDEO)
England's 4-0 win in Hungary last month was marred by racial abuse and crowd disturbances, and there appeared to be more volatility from the outset in the return fixture in London as some of the away supporters – said to number around 1,000 visitors – made clear their dissatisfaction with the taking of the knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
Supporters were then seen charging at members of the local Metropolitan Police, leading some viewers to speculate that the mob had forced officers to retreat in shocking scenes that were picked up on national UK television coverage of the game.
"There were some pretty unpleasant scenes early on here at Wembley," said presenter Mark Pougatch.
Unsavoury scenes in the away end at Wembley pic.twitter.com/Guhq0B46uY— ITV Football (@itvfootball) October 12, 2021
"You could see a banner among the Hungarian fans saying no to taking the knee just before kick-off.
"A few minutes into the game, some of the police were using their batons and then punches were being thrown by the Hungarians. It lasted a couple of minutes.
"It appeared that the police were retreating down the stairwell. There were reports before the game that there were going to be more police on duty here this evening, but the fact that the police retreated in the way they did does beg the question: were there enough of them?"
The authority announced that a "minor disorder" had broken out and a fan had been arrested for "a racially aggravated public order offence" relating to a comment made to a steward at the English national stadium.
FIFA, which ordered Hungary to play two matches behind closed doors after England players were subjected to racial abuse in the previous encounter between the sides, said it was investigating the incidents alongside missile-throwing which caused Poland's win in Albania to be temporarily halted.
"FIFA strongly condemns the incidents at England v Hungary and Albania v Poland and would like to state that its position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of violence as well as any form of discrimination or abuse," said the governing body.
Hungary fans scuffling with stewards and police at Wembley pic.twitter.com/7dDei9IGWX— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) October 12, 2021
"Fifa has a very clear zero-tolerance stance against such abhorrent behaviour in football."
The troubling altercations follow the near-riotous disturbances when England lost to Italy at Wembley in the final of Euro 2020 in July.
On that occasion, England fans fought stewards and police while attempting to break through gates before the match.
Ugly scenes at Wembley as Hungary fans clash with the police. UEFA will undoubtedly come down hard on the Hungarian FA by dishing out a hefty £20 fine.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 12, 2021
Discriminatory chants appeared to be filmed from some members of the crowd during the Italian national anthem, and there was violence around the stadium before and after the match, resulting in 45 arrests and 19 injured officers being declared by the police force.
FIFA and European football administrative body UEFA have both been routinely mocked by fans and observers for failing to take strong enough action to deter trouble during games.
UEFA ordered Hungary to play three games behind closed doors after ruling that their fans had displayed discriminatory behavior at Euro 2020, but fans were allowed to attend the World Cup qualifier at home to England because it was under FIFA's jurisdiction.
Wembley have yet more questions to answer IMO. Second lot of crowd disorder in three months and the venue have been found wanting on both occasions.— Jeremy Fox (@jezzaf3) October 12, 2021
FIFA then ordered Hungary to play two matches without fans – one suspended for two years – and fined the Hungarian Football Federation around $215,000.
"UEFA will undoubtedly come down hard on the Hungarian FA by dishing out a hefty £20 [$27] fine," joked one account.
A presenter claimed: "I was there. Woefully under-policed. Like the [Euro] final. Shameful. Wembley Stadium and the [English] FA need to get their act together right now."
Figures from both teams, including England boss Gareth Southgate and defender Tyrone Mings, claimed they had not been aware of the incidents during the 1-1 draw, when Hungary fans are also said to have let off a smoke bomb after Roland Sallai's penalty put the visitors ahead in the first half.Also on rt.com Hungary hit with stadium ban by FIFA following racist abuse hurled at black England stars during World Cup qualifier