London (AFP) – Hungary supporters clashed with police at Wembley as a fan was arrested for racist abuse of a steward during Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against England.
Just moments after kick-off, trouble flared among the pocket of around 1,000 Hungarians in one corner of the stadium.
Dozens of Hungary supporters charged at stewards, who were forced to retreat before police wielding batons arrived.
The fighting continued for several minutes before riot police finally restored order in the stands and the stadium concourse.
Police had taken extra security measures in a bid to avoid problems with the Hungarian ultras.
But the incident occurred when they moved in to arrest one Hungary fan for a racist comment to a steward.
Hungary’s supporters also booed when England players took the knee before kick-off and held up a banner protesting against the anti-racism gesture.
“Shortly after the start of tonight’s match at Wembley, officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward,” Metropolitan Police said on their Twitter account.
“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 English Football Association said they would report the incident to FIFA and launch an investigation of their own.
“We will be investigating and will report the incident to FIFA,” an FA statement said.
It was not the first time Hungary fans had caused problems during their meetings with England in the qualifying campaign.
England’s 4-0 win in Budapest in September was marred by racist chants from Hungarians aimed at Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.
Missiles were also thrown at England’s players at the Puskas Arena.
Hungary were ordered to play two home FIFA competition matches behind closed doors, one suspended for two years, following the racist behaviour.
UEFA had already told Hungary to play one game behind closed doors following racist abuse from supporters and homophobic banners in the stands during their Euro 2020 matches in Budapest.
Wembley had also been the scene of crowd disorder just months ago when England’s defeat against Italy in the final of Euro 2020 was marred by ticketless fans storming the gates to gain entry.
Thousands of fans managed to break through Wembley’s under-staffed security cordon before the final, while drunken supporters caused havoc outside the stadium hours before kick-off.
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