Johnson denounces racist insults against English players in Hungary

English players were booed by more than 60,000 Hungarian fans for kneeling to denounce racism - Photo: Attila Kispendek |  France Press agency

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday condemned “totally unacceptable” racist insults against England players during the 2022 World Cup qualifier match on Thursday 2, in Budapest, and demanded action from FIFA.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that England players were subjected to racist insults last night (Thursday) in Hungary,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

The head of government urged FIFA to “take strict measures against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behavior is eradicated forever.”

British media outlets such as the BBC and Sky News reported racist chants directed at black players Judd Bellingham and Raheem Sterling during England’s 4-0 win.

“I haven’t heard,” England captain Harry Kane told ITV. “I will talk to the men to see if they have heard anything,” he added.

Just before the match, English players were booed by 60,000 Hungarian fans for kneeling to denounce racism.

In 2019, a qualifying match for Euro 2020, in which England beat Bulgaria, was marred by racist outbursts. The episode sparked outrage in football bodies in the UK and Europe.

In July, Johnson announced his intention to block access to stadiums for fans who hurl racial insults against players online. This statement came in the wake of the attacks suffered by three black players for the England national team, after the defeat in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

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