Racist chants directed at Sterling and Bellingham as England beat Hungary in Budapest

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Racist chants were directed at England players during their 4-0 win over Hungary.

Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett said he heard "sporadic monkey chants from various areas of the crowd" at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.

They were "primarily towards Raheem Sterling when he touched the ball", Dorsett added.

"I have seen four separate individuals specifically involved in the racist chanting. The most recent of those was directed at Jude Bellingham, as he warmed up right in front of us, and close to the Hungarian ultras.

"They have been sporadic pockets of racist abuse we have seen, but they are nonetheless clear."

Sterling was "pelted by cups thrown from the crowd" as he celebrated at the corner flag after scoring the first goal, Sky Sports News's Peter Smith said.

The BBC's Juliette Ferrington heard similar things. "I definitely heard one and saw it with my own eyes, aimed toward Jude Bellingham, when he was warming up," she said.

"Another plastic cup was thrown and he reacted with his fingers and carried on.

"Then came the monkey chants and there have been four different reports of that. Raheem Sterling was also targeted after Harry Kane's goal."

The Football Association said it would be asking FIFA to investigate.

A spokesperson said: "It is extremely disappointing to hear reports of discriminatory actions towards some of our England players."

There is a "collective determination" to tackle such matters, they added.

Speaking after the final whistle, England manager Gareth Southgate was told about abuse directed at Bellingham and said the 18-year-old "shouldn't have to suffer that".

Before the World Cup qualifier began, England players were booed as they took the knee.

Captain Harry Kane told ITV he "didn't hear" the racist abuse directed towards Sterling and Bellingham, but added: "I'll talk to the boys and see if they heard any of it.

"Look, we'll have to report it to UEFA. If it's the case then hopefully UEFA can come down strong."

Defender John Stones said he did not hear the abuse either, but added: "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.

"We stand together as a team and we will continue fighting for what we believe in as a team and what we believe is right."

Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett said the organisation was "appalled to see the actions of some Hungary fans".

He added: "We stand proudly in support of the England players and staff, who once again acted with strength, grace and integrity in the face of racism that has no place in our game or our society.

"This is not the first incident like this in Hungary, so we urge FIFA to investigate this matter urgently.

"Those responsible need to be held to account and steps need to be taken to ensure scenes like (this) are not repeated."

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland condemned the racist abuse directed at England players.

He told Sky News: "It was deeply depressing, it was appalling.

"The message has to go out loud and clear from leaders in society, from all of us who have responsibility, that these young men are working, they are exemplars to the community, they inspire other young people, they represent what's good in our society.

"That's why we've just got to keep getting the message out there that racism has no space in sport, no place in our society and we should be celebrating these people not denigrating them."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said "strong action must be taken against Hungary to protect players and show racism has no place in football".

The ground will be empty for the next two UEFA-organised matches.

It follows sanctions after racist and homophobic abuse marred Hungary's Euro 2020 fixtures, with the third match of a stadium ban suspended.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting