One-match stadium ban for Hungary

Hungary must play a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after racist behaviour by their fans.
Hungary must play a World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after racist behaviour by their fans.

Hungary must play their next World Cup qualifier behind closed doors after FIFA imposed a ban on fans and a 200,000 Swiss franc ($A300,000) fine following racist incidents in this month's match against England.

FIFA said on Tuesday the sanctions, which include a further game behind closed doors which has been suspended, were imposed on the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) "in relation to the racist behaviour of numerous supporters" during the game at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, which England won 4-0.

Missiles were thrown at England players during the match on September 2 and monkey chants aimed at England forward Raheem Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham, who are Black.

"After analysing.....all the circumstances of the case, specifically the seriousness of the incidents (racist words and actions, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, blocked stairways), the (Disciplinary) Committee decided that the MLSZ would play its next two home matches in FIFA competitions without spectators, the second match being suspended for a probationary period of two years," FIFA said in a statement.

Hungary's next qualifier is against Albania on October 9.

FIFA opened proceedings against Hungary the day after the match, but the football authorities were criticised over the failure to carry over a UEFA stadium ban imposed in July for racist chanting and homophobic banners into the World Cup qualifiers, which are overseen by FIFA.

Article 66 of FIFA's disciplinary code allows confederations such as UEFA to request the extension of a sanction into FIFA competition, but UEFA sources insisted at the time of the incident against England that its own regulations had prevented it from doing so.

It is also understood FIFA's disciplinary committee was unable to take the previous offending sanctioned by UEFA just two months ago into account. Again, sources cited the fact that Article 66 had not been invoked.

The Professional Footballers' Association condemned the abuse and urged FIFA and UEFA to close the regulatory "loophole".

MLSZ was not immediately available for comment.

Australian Associated Press