Gareth Southgate questions UEFA sanctions with England for playing at Puskas Arena ‘half empty’ Yorkshire News

More than 35,000 supporters are expected at the Puskas Arena for the first Group A3 match, despite Hungary being sanctioned by UEFA.

The Three Lions travel to the Hungarian capital for the first time since their 4-0 win in World Cup qualifiers last September, which was marred by racist chants from local fans, prompting the Hungarian FA de Fútbol was sanctioned with two matches by FIFA.

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UEFA has also ordered Hungary to play three matches in empty stadiums, the third of which has been suspended, following the behavior of fans during Euro 2020.

Manager Gareth Southgate looks on during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match between England and Hungary 2021 in London, England. (Image: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

One such UEFA ban comes against England this weekend, but the PA news agency understands that the match will now be played in front of a half-full stadium, as Hungary makes the most of UEFA regulations on matches at door closed.

Although article 73 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations limits the number of VIP guests, team delegations, UEFA staff and free ticket holders, there is no limit on the number of school children invited to the match. free of charge, with one adult accompanying every 10 children. .

The Football Association is implementing a similar program for its own behind-closed-doors match against Italy at Molineux next week, but has capped the number at around 3,000 children from local under-14 teams accredited by England Football.

“I think we’re all surprised,” Southgate said of the expected attendance figure.

England manager Gareth Southgate reacts as he leads an England soccer team training session at St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent on May 30 (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

“But we’re inviting kids to our stadium, so I wasn’t very clear on the rules of any of that at the start of all this. I don’t know what the figure should or shouldn’t be.

“Other people have to deal with it. We have to make sure that we are consistent in our beliefs, the position we take as a team, the fact that we are united is unacceptable and it is other people who must administer the sanctions.

“Once we’re administering sanctions, it’s gone too far anyway. The key is education. Hopefully the youngsters in the stadium will pick up that message tomorrow.”

England’s stadium ban, which also came with a second game suspended, was issued after fan behavior ahead of the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy at Wembley last summer.

England’s Jarrod Bowen, Conor Gallagher and Harry Kane look on during an England training session at St George’s Park (Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Asked if the penalties should be tougher, Southgate replied: “It’s hard to know what that line should be because I know we could talk about fines and what would seem like a small fine in our country would be a big punishment in others.

“We have a game behind closed doors costing us millions of pounds of revenue that could go to grassroots football.

“So the reality is that with all these things, the people who are being punished are the players and fans who are behaving well and not the people who are causing the problem.

“Of course, it is very difficult to find a way not to do it, but it is complicated when you go into the details of the sanctions.”

One who will be absent from the Puskas Arena is Phil Foden, with Southgate revealing the Manchester City striker has been ruled out as having tested positive for coronavirus, while defenders Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori will also be missing.

“Fikayo and Marc Guehi arrived injured but they are doing well, they won’t be in tomorrow’s game”, he added.

“There is a possibility to participate against Germany, but it should be fine from there.

“Phil Foden has unfortunately tested positive for Covid, he has had to leave. Hopefully he can meet up when we get back from Germany. Raheem (Sterling) has missed a couple of days of training due to illness, we have to assess if he can participate tomorrow.”

Hungary boss Marco Rossi insists his team will do everything to ensure they are not relegated from League A of the Nations League.

Having started in League C for the inaugural competition in 2018, Hungary have achieved back-to-back promotion in the newest of UEFA’s international competitions.

They now host England in the first of their Group A3 meetings, with Germany and reigning European champions Italy forming the rest of a difficult quartet.

“We are aware that one of the teams in League A of the Nations League is regressing to a lower level,” Rossi said.

“But we’ll do everything we can to make sure we’re not. Now we can play against such opponents because we fight for it.

“We have the will to win and we try to offer as much as possible.”

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This notice was published: 2022-06-03 19:15:18

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