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FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings against racist abuse of England players in Hungary

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on world soccer’s governing body FIFA on Friday to take action over what he described as “disgraceful” racist abuse aimed at England players by Hungary fans during a World Cup qualifier.

“It is completely unacceptable that England players were racially abused in Hungary,” he wrote on Twitter.

Raheem Sterling of England celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying Group I soccer match Hungary vs England at Puskas Ferenc Arena in Budapest, Hungary, 02 September 2021. EPA-EFE/Tibor Illyes HUNGARY OUT

Johnson urged FIFA to take “strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behaviour is eradicated from the game for good.”

Jack Grealish of England celebrates a goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying Group I soccer match Hungary vs England at Puskas Ferenc Arena in Budapest, Hungary, 02 September 2021. EPA-EFE/Zsolt Szigetvary

FIFA said on Friday that it had opened disciplinary proceedings into the incidents at the match and reiterated an earlier statement reaffirming its zero tolerance stance against racism.

Meanwhile England’s Mason Mount labelled the hostile Hungarian crowd’s behaviour in their World Cup qualifier a “disgrace” but said they used it as fuel to score more goals and silence the home support in Thursday’s 4-0 win in Budapest.

British broadcasters reported monkey chants being aimed at England’s Black players while plastic cups rained down on the players when they celebrated goals near the corner flag.

“When the whole stadium is against us, we grow. We spoke about it and we knew it would be a hostile environment, we revel in those opportunities. We want to show what we can do on the ball and make the stadium silent,” Mount said.

“As soon as we scored… you could tell within the atmosphere that something was going to be thrown or something would happen and luckily no one got hurt. We obviously have had it in the past and it’s a disgrace how it keeps on happening.