Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham were racially abused by Hungary fans during England’s World Cup qualifier in the Puskas Stadium in Budapest on Thursday evening, it has been reported.
Sterling played a key role in England’s 4-0 win, scoring the first goal before assisting captain Harry Kane for the second in a hostile atmosphere which saw the Manchester City winger pelted with plastic cups and other objects as he celebrated.
ITV’s pitch-side reporter Gabriel Clarke, who was stationed behind the goal where England scored all four in the second half, reported monkey chants had been spotted amid the most vehement section of the home support, directed at goalscorer Sterling and substitute Bellingham warming up.
Sterling diverted home Mason Mount’s cross to break the deadlock in the second half before peeling off his jersey to reveal a message of tribute for his friend Steffie Gregg on his under-shirt. Gregg, a popular Twitch streamer, died this week aged 26.
As he ran towards the corner to celebrate, the home fans booed and launched dozens of objects in the direction of the 26-year-old, with several hitting his body. Sterling did not react. His teammate Declan Rice picked up one of the cups and pretended to drink from it.
Later Luke Shaw was also pelted while taking a corner, and a flare was thrown on to the pitch after Harry Maguire then scored from the set-piece to make it 3-0 to England. The incidents came after Hungary fans had earlier loudly booed England players taking the knee before kick-off.
Hungary already face Uefa sanctions and are now likely to be hit by Fifa punishments over the incidents.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies