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Saturday, November 27, 2021

Fan unrest as Hungary draws at England; Poland walks off

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Crowd trouble marred World Cup qualifiers as Hungary fans clashed with police during a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley Stadium and Poland’s players walked off in Albania after bottles were hurled in another Group I match on Tuesday.

Karol Świderski had just scored for Poland in the 77th minute when he was struck by a bottle thrown from the stands. It led to the game being suspended for around 20 minutes before Poland returned to the field and held on to win 1-0.

Euro 2020 finalist England is now three points clear of Poland, with games against Albania and San Marino remaining next month in the pursuit of automatic qualification for the World Cup in Qatar next year.

The disorder in London happened around kickoff after England players taking a knee had been booed by the visiting fans.

“Officers entered the stand to arrest a spectator for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments made towards a steward,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. “As the officers made the arrest, minor disorder broke out involving other spectators.”

Police were seen wielding batons to hold back the visiting fans. The remainder of the game passed off largely peacefully.

FIFA said on Wednesday that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the Hungarian, English, Albanian and Polish football federations.

Disorder by Hungary fans — including racism — during the home match against England in Budapest last month led to Hungary having to play Saturday’s game against Albania in an empty stadium.

FIFA put Hungary on probation with the threat of another game being played without fans if there was further disorder at games.

England defender Tyrone Mings said he hopes “the punishment this time fits what happened.”

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