ITV reporter Gabriel Clarke, who was at the stadium, says he heard monkey chants directed at Raheem Sterling, as well as at substitute Jude Bellingham as he was preparing to come on.
Hungary had been ordered by UEFA, European football’s governing body, to play its next three home games behind closed doors after fans’ discriminatory behavior at Euro 2020, but this ban wasn’t yet implemented as World Cup qualifiers fall under FIFA’s jurisdiction.
“First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance for such behavior in football,” FIFA said in a statement to CNN.
“FIFA will take adequate actions as soon as it receives match reports concerning yesterday’s Hungary-England game.
“With regards to the previous UEFA sanction against Hungary, please note that as specified by UEFA at the time, this sanction is to be served in UEFA competitions.”
In a statement, the English Football Association (FA) said it was “extremely disappointing” to hear reports of “discriminatory actions” directed towards some of its players.
“We will be asking FIFA to investigate the matter,” the statement read. “We continue to support the players and staff in our collective determination to highlight and tackle discrimination in all its forms.”
The Hungarian Football Federation said in a statement to CNN: “The vast majority of the 60,000 fans present in the Puskás Aréna supported the teams in a sporting manner, cheering on the Hungarian national team even when the team was already losing. It is in their defense that the minority of disruptive ticket-holders need to be identified and severely punished.
“Fans entering the field of play, throwing flares and plastic cups are in the process of being identified. The MLSZ has already filed or will file police reports against them and will pass on any financial penalties to the perpetrators through civil litigation. Furthermore, at the end of proceedings, those found guilty can expect a two-year ban from all sporting events.
“The Hungarian Federation and the players, head coach all made an extremely strong communication campaign before the game to call supporters to avoid all kind of racist, xenophobic behaviors during all matches of the national team.”
England’s players also had cups and bottles thrown at them during each of the goal celebrations — with Declan Rice and Jack Grealish amusingly pretending to drink out of them — while a flare was thrown onto the pitch as the team celebrated Harry Maguire’s goal.
After the game, England forward Marcus Rashford, who is currently out following shoulder surgery, took to social media in support of his teammates.
“My brothers. Every single one of them. Proud of you boys,” he tweeted.
“I urge FIFA to take strong action against those responsible to ensure that this kind of disgraceful behavior is eradicated from the game for good.”