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October 14, 2021

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Fan violence at Wembley draws FIFA criticism

FIFA is investigating the clashes at Wembley Stadium in London between police and Hungarian supporters at Tuesday’s game against England, saying it has “zero tolerance against such abhorrent behavior.”

World soccer’s governing body is also looking into incidents in the game between Albania and Poland in Tirana, where bottles were thrown on the pitch after Poland scored.

“FIFA is currently analyzing reports of last night’s FIFA World Cup qualifier matches in order to determine the most appropriate action,” the governing body said in a statement issued in Zurich, Switzerland.

“FIFA strongly condemns the incidents at England v Hungary and Albania v Poland and would like 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 zero-tolerance stance against such abhorrent behavior in football,” it added.

Police came under attack from Hungary fans after they moved into the ‘away section’ and had to retreat.

The Metropolitan Police said they had taken action after a steward was racially abused by the visiting fans.

“Shortly after the start of tonight’s match at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offense following comments made towards a steward,” the police said on Twitter.

“As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators. Order was quickly restored and there have been no further incidents at this stage.”

The match ended 1-1.

Disorder by Hungary fans — including racism — during the home match against England in Budapest last month led to Hungary having to play Saturday’s game against Albania in an empty stadium.

FIFA put Hungary on probation with the threat of another game being played without fans if there was further disorder at games.

The other Group I game — between Albania and Poland — in Tirana was suspended for around 20 minutes.

Karol Swiderski had just scored for Poland in the 77th minute when he was apparently struck by a bottle thrown from the Albania fans. Poland’s players walked off but returned to the field and held on to win 1-0.


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