England

Gareth Southgate condemns racist chants from Hungary fans

Tom Gott
Gareth Southgate was disappointed by the racist abuse in the stands
Gareth Southgate was disappointed by the racist abuse in the stands / Michael Regan/Getty Images
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England manager Gareth Southgate has voiced his disappointment towards yet another incident of racist chanting from a section of Hungarian supporters in the Three Lions' 4-0 victory on Thursday.

After England's decision to take the knee before kick-off was widely booed, monkey chants could be heard being directed towards goalscorer Raheem Sterling and unused substitute Jude Bellingham, while the former was also pelted by cups as he celebrated England's first of the night.

It was an ugly backdrop to what was an otherwise entertaining evening of football, and after the game, Southgate called for those in charge to do something meaningful to help stamp out this issue.

"I have heard reports of racism and we were not aware of that during the game," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Everyone knows what we stand for as a team and that's completely unacceptable. It's been reported to [FIFA].

"I am not sure we were particularly sensible celebrating right in front of their fans with the flare but the racism is the key part. We try to take a right stand, we knew taking the knee would get an adverse reaction and anything of that nature is unacceptable.

"I don't think our players can do anything more, in terms of getting the messaging out. It's up to other people now. They shouldn't be subjected to any form of racism.

"People stuck in their prejudices are going to be the dinosaurs in the end. Because the world is modernising."

Striker Harry Kane also called for strict punishments from FIFA, while Harry Maguire and John Stones offered up messages of defiance, insisting incidents like this only strengthen their belief that taking a knee before the game is necessary.

Importantly, Southgate did also take the opportunity to remind England fans that the issue of racism is by no means exclusive to Hungary.

"It's not fair to point finger at all Hungarian fans," he continued. "It's similar to what we have at home."


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