The Three Lions players have reacted defiantly to the abuse of the stands – but their manager says they need to rise above it
England boss Gareth Southgate has called for “humility” and to prevent opposition supporters from clashing after their “beer-drinking” celebrations against Hungary on Thursday.
Declan Rice and Jack Grealish are seen drinking from a pair of plastic cups thrown at the Three Lions players as they celebrated their goals in the 4-0 World Cup qualifier in Budapest.
It was a provocative response amid allegations of racist abuse leveled by the hostile crowd in the Puskas Arena against Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham, but Southgate believes its players should try in the future not to come to such provocation.
What did Southgate say?
Southgate acknowledged the actions of Hungary’s supporters, which also included a flare – up and the bullying of English players taking the knee, were unacceptable, but said its players should try not to end the fiery atmosphere. to wear.
“We had to be a little bit careful in our interaction with the crowd the other day,” he said. ‘We all realize that certain things that have happened are not acceptable, but we also run the risk of inciting some of the situations.
‘The boys just need to have that humility in their minds. We played well and achieved a good result, but let’s keep our professionalism, our focus. We will have to play these teams again, and we do not want to give them extra motivation with our actions. ”
The Hungarian Football Association has promised to issue two-year suspensions to fans who disrupted the match against England, although no mention was made of the alleged racist abuse directed at some of the visiting players.
Hungary has already been banned by UEFA for a three-match match for racist and homophobic behavior during Euro 2020, but this sanction does not apply to World Cup qualifiers as it falls under FIFA’s task.
“We can not waste a moment”
Thursday’s victory was England’s first match since their heavy defeat on penalties against Italy in the Euro 2020 final – their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.
Thoughts have already turned to the World Cup in Qatar, now only 14 months away, and whether the three lions can do better.
However, Southgate again emphasized caution and warned its players that their opponents want to increase their game before next year and that England cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
“If we want to be serious contenders for the World Cup, we can not waste a moment,” Southgate added ahead of Sunday’s game against Andorra at Wembley. “We can not miss an opportunity to improve.
‘The teams that did not do so well in the summer lick their wounds and look at everything. The risk is that they look harder at the opportunities to improve. If we are complacent, it’s a mistake. We have talent and have shown positive achievements and achieved good results. But it can disappear very quickly. ”