Police battled Hungarian fans in ugly scenes at Wembley Stadium during a World Cup qualifier Tuesday night when they tried to arrest a spectator for racially insulting a stadium attendant.
A group of visitors, mostly wearing black T-shirts, collided at a gangway entrance in the lower row, forcing stewards and police back. During the battle, the police could be seen with batons. The incident happened in the first 10 minutes of the game before it calmed down.
A Metropolitan Police statement said: “Shortly after today’s game at Wembley began, officials came into the stands to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order violation after speaking to a steward. When the officers carried out the arrest, there was minor unrest, which also included other bystanders. Order was quickly restored and there were no further incidents at this point. “
The English Football Association announced an investigation. “We are aware of an incident on the away side during today’s qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Wembley Stadium. We will investigate and report the incident to FIFA. “
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This was followed by incidents of racial abuse by Hungarian fans against English players during the second leg in Budapest in September. Hungary were ordered to play two FIFA home games behind closed doors, one of them suspended for two years after Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were monkey-chanted during the game, which England won 4-0.
The scenes are another blow to the FA, just three months after a disastrous Euro 2020 final, with ticketless fans storming the stadium amid chaos and violence, raising doubts about England’s case of hosting the 2030 World Cup.