Gareth Southgate 'surprised' 30,000 fans allowed to attend England vs Hungary

Jack Gallagher
Southgate at England training
Southgate at England training / PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Gareth Southgate has admitted that he is surprised that 30,000 fans will be allowed to attend England's Nations League clash against Hungary in Budapest despite the home nation serving a spectator ban.

Hungarian fans were banned from attending three of their nation's home games after England players were racially abused at the Puskás Aréna during a Euro 2020 qualifier.

In spite of this ban, a UEFA loophole means that Hungary have been allowed to invited 30,000 school children to attend the game.

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the game, Southgate admitted that he was surprised that any fans, no matter their age, are allowed to attend Sunday's game.

“I think we are all surprised. But we are inviting children into our stadium so I wasn’t really clear on the rules of any of it at the start of all of this. I don’t know what the figure should or shouldn’t be.

“Other people have got to deal with that. We have got to make sure that we are consistent in our beliefs, the stand we take as a team, the fact that we are united on it being unacceptable and it is for other people to administer sanctions.

“Once we are administering sanctions, it has gone too far anyway. The key is education. The young people in the stadium hopefully pick that message up on Saturday.

“Hopefully the young people will recognise why this opportunity has happened and the message will be because of what happened last time we played there. In some ways this will be part of the education for the next generation and with each generation that passes there will be more tolerance in the world.”