England

Hungary expected to avoid punishment for fans' booing of England players taking the knee

Tom Gott
England were booed by the Hungarian crowd
England were booed by the Hungarian crowd / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Hungary are not expected to face any punishment after a crowd of children booed the England players as they took the knee ahead of Saturday's meeting between the two.

The match was supposed to be played behind closed doors as a punishment for racism from the Hungarian fans during Euro 2020, but it was later decided to give the tickets to children under 14 years old - every ten of which were accompanied by one adult.

The idea was widely celebrated and both national anthems were observed impeccably, only for the mood to be soured by the chorus of boos that echoed around the Puskas Arena as the England squad took the knee before the match, which ended in a 1-0 defeat.

Numerous outlets have reported that the Hungarian FA will not face further punishment for the incident, despite calls from numerous anti-discrimination groups for an investigation to be launched.

Hungary's Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations, Zoltan Kovacs, later took to Twitter to denounce the criticism of the incident.

"Anyone who thinks that children attending a football match in Budapest can be blamed for any kind of political statement is truly an idiot," he wrote.

"Congratulations to our national team, applause for the 35,000 kids."

After the game, England manager Gareth Southgate joined in with the questions over how a stadium ban could turn into a full ground of home supporters.

"How that aligns with the decision is difficult to understand," the boss said.

"From a development perspective I want and need my team to be playing in front of supporters, but that's not the point in this instance. I'm torn between what we got from it and what the reality should have been."

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