Hungary fans clashed with police at Wembley as England drew 1-1

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On Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Hungary visited the Wembley Stadium to play against England in the UEFA World Cup qualification Group I game. The match started with crowd trouble mostly involving Hungary fans.

When the game was about to kick-off, England took a knee as they often do since 2020 to show their support for the fight against racism, loud jeer emanated from the away stand of the Wembley Stadium.

The police were mobilized to the side of the stadium to bring things under control. However, the presence of the police made it more difficult for the Hungary fans to remain calm.

Hungary fans clashed with police at Wembley as England drew 1-1
Police trying to bring things under control at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

The situation almost got out of hand, when the police arrested one of the Hungary fans over the crowd trouble which had the potential to disrupt the World Cup qualification game.

A Hungary fan battling it out with the police at the Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
A Hungary fan battling it out with the police at the Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.

Despite the disturbance, the match continued as planned and the Hungary fans behaved themselves throughout the game. They only agitated against the practice of the England national team taking a knee before the kick-off of the match.

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

A Hungary fan left with a bleeding face after the crowd trouble at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
A Hungary fan left with a bleeding face after the crowd trouble at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.

While an FA statement read: “We are aware of an incident in the away section during tonight’s FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier at Wembley Stadium.

“We will be investigating and will report the incident to FIFA.”

Recall that some supporters of England’s national team used to boo the team whenever they take a knee before a game. But the FA was able to appeal to the fans to stop booing the players.

As for Hungary, the country is against a series of practices other Western countries have embraced. For instance, the country has restrictions against the activities of gays and lesbians in the country.

Also, during the Euro 2020, some Hungary fans reportedly showed discriminatory tendencies which became one of the controversial aspects of the European Championship.

Hence, the jeer they gave to England’s players when they took a knee in support of the fight against discrimination was not a surprise to many pundits.

On the pitch, the Hungarian players gave a very good account of themselves to the extent they scored the opening goal from a spot-kick taken by Roland Sallai.

A few minutes later, the host country reacted to the goal, thanks to John Stones’ 37th-minute strike. After the goal, England could not do much, hence, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The draw came about a month after England traveled to Hungary to beat the country 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Based on the current standing of Group I, England need at least four points from their last two World Cup qualifiers which are against Albania and San Marino to be certain of the automatic qualifications spot.

Currently, England are topping the table with 20 points in 8 games, 3 points above Poland. While Hungary are occupying the 4th spot with 11 points in 8 games. Just like Albania and San Marino, Hungary don’t stand a chance of earning an automatic qualifications spot.

Hungary fans caused the police crowd trouble while Hungary players caused England tactical problem

The head coach of England Gareth Southgate.
The head coach of England Gareth Southgate.

While reacting to England’s 1-1 draw with Hungary, England’s head coach, Gareth Southgate gave credit to Hungary for causing his team a tactical problem.

The coach admitted that the Three Lions of England that have recorded two draws and no defeat so far in the World Cup qualification series played below their standard on Tuesday.

“It was a disappointing performance”, the coach said. “Full credit to Hungary, I thought they caused us a tactical problem. We weren’t fluid and I didn’t think we played at the level we needed to play.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint. We’ll go away and think of the balance of the team a little bit, but individually, we can do better as well and we made lots of simple mistakes with the ball.

“I think we have to accept that we dipped below our usual levels. That was a surprise, but it was a night where individually and collectively, we didn’t hit the heights we have been… We didn’t quite do enough to win the game.

“We didn’t create as much as we would have hoped, but we have to give Hungary credit to that. We lost a little bit of positional discipline at times so there’s a lot for us to reflect on and work on.

“We wanted to try to get a spark. We’d struggled to create many clear chances and hoped freshness at that stage may have been able to produce that.

“We changed the system because we were a little open in counter-attacks and we had to solidify from that to start with. We hadn’t been opening them up with 4-3-3, and so with two 10s and wing-backs, we wanted to try to pose them a different problem. But we didn’t create any more chances than we had been.

“I thought we were a bit anxious with some of our passing and I thought we were trying to force things a little bit. We needed to simplify our game a little bit and move the ball more quickly at times. Lots that we can go away and feel like we should have been better at.”