World football’s governing body FIFA has launched an investigation into crowd troubles which marred England’s World Cup qualifier against Hungary at Wembley Stadium yesterday.
Hungarian fans battled with police inside the pitch during the match – which ended in a 1-1 draw – after officers entered outside Wembley Stadium to carry out a search arrest following a racially aggravated public order offence, according to the London Metropolitan Police. . A total of six individuals were arrested in the field and its surroundings.
Fans were shown punching security staff and jumping over security barriers, sending police back into the lobby as they attempted to enter the stadium. England players were also booed when they took the knee by away supporters, who numbered less than 1,000.
It was not the only European qualifier marred by crowd problems. In Tirana, the World Cup qualifier between Albania and Poland was suspended for 20 minutes after visiting players were pelted with plastic bottles as they celebrated Karol’s winning goal Swidersky.
“FIFA is currently analyzing reports from last night’s FIFA World Cup qualifying matches to determine the most appropriate action,” a statement read. “FIFA strongly condemns the England v Hungary and Albania v Poland incidents and wishes to state that its position remains firm and resolute in rejecting any form of violence as well as any form of discrimination or abuse.
“FIFA has a very clear position of zero tolerance against such heinous behavior in football.”
Hungary have been ordered to play two home games behind closed doors after their home qualifier against England last month, in which visiting players were racistally abused and bombarded with missiles and of a flare. UEFA had ordered the Magyars to play three games behind closed doors following the behavior of their fans at Euro 2020, but as the World Cup qualifiers are under the jurisdiction of FIFA, the fans had been allowed to participate at these matches.
The day after last night’s game, the Metropolitan Police said: “Shortly after the start of tonight’s game at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for an aggravated public order offense by the breed following comments made to a steward.
“As the officers made the arrest, minor disturbances broke out involving other onlookers. Order was quickly restored and there have been no further incidents at this stage.”
Two individuals were arrested inside the stadium on suspicion of a brawl and assault on a rescuer while another was arrested for breach of public order aggravated by race. Off the pitch, there was one arrest for brawling, one for drunk and disorderly driving and one for suspected voyeurism.
There were also problems at Wembley Stadium earlier this summer with scuffles between supporters and police as ticketless fans tried to break the security cordon to watch the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy. There were 45 arrests during the game and 19 police officers were injured in the events.