On the sidelines of the Tuesday games in World Cup qualifying group I, there were unsightly scenes in both England and Albania. The game in Tirana even had to be interrupted. FIFA has opened proceedings.
Not a pretty sight: clashes between the police and Hungarian fans in Wembley (left) – Polish players protecting themselves in Tirana.
For a long time, the match between Albania and Poland (1-0) on Tuesday evening went without incident. However, unsightly scenes followed the opening goal of the Poles by Karol Swiderski in the 77th minute: the cheering guest players were pelted with objects by some spectators from the Albanian fan block. Some Polish players are said to have been hit by bottles and lighters, among other things.
The French referee Clement Turpin then interrupted the game, both teams and officials went into the catacombs. The teams only reappeared after a break of more than 20 minutes, and Turpin then continued the encounter. In the rest of the season there were no further incidents on the pitch or in the stands.
Hungarian fans and British police clash
In the 1-1 draw between England and Hungary – once again – individual Hungarian supporters caused trouble. Even before kick-off, the English players were booed loudly when they kneeled, and a banner was presented in protest. Shortly after the start of the game, according to a report by the BBC, British police officers entered the Hungarian fan block in order to arrest a spectator after a racist incident. There were then clashes, the security forces had to use their batons to get the situation under control.
English players were racially insulted in the first leg in Budapest in September, and objects were thrown onto the field.
FIFA condemns incidents and takes action
FIFA condemned the incidents in England and Albania on Wednesday “in the strongest possible way” and opened disciplinary proceedings, as he confirmed on Wednesday evening. “FIFA would like to point out that it firmly rejects any form of violence, discrimination or abuse. FIFA has a very clear zero-tolerance attitude towards such horrific behavior in football,” said the world governing body.