ENGLAND stunned in Budapest after thousands of Hungarian children booed them as they took the knee.
After Dominik Szoboszlai’s penalty proved decisive, beaten Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate said: “I have no idea why people would boo that gesture. I am very surprised.”
England collapsed to a first 90-minute defeat in 18 months when Szoboszlai scored from a ‘hard’ penalty.
But the Nations League clash, played “behind closed doors” due to the racist and homophobic behavior of Hungarian fans, was marred as young fans jeered in the 30,000 spectators before kick-off, leaving Kick It Out boss Troy Townsend infuriated.
Southgate said: “Very often, especially young people, they can’t know why they’re doing it.
“So they are influenced by older adults. So we try to educate people.”
The Hungarian Football Association used a Uefa rule to circumvent the fan ban, allowing under-14s to attend for free if accompanied by an adult.
And European football bosses refused to comment on the boos at the Puskas Arena last night.
Townsend, father of former Three Lions winger Andros, tweeted: “The Rule clearly affirms that there is no such thing as a zero tolerance approach to racism.”
England’s Conor Coady said: “It’s massively disappointing. You don’t want to hear that.”
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Uefa ordered Hungary to play three games behind closed doors after racist and homophobic incidents at last summer’s European Championship.
And the hosts also imposed a separate Fifa ban on home fans over racial slurs against England players Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham last September’s World Cup qualifier.
Southgate added the rowdy, hostile vibe as he said: “How that aligns with the ban is hard to understand.”
On the field, substitute Reece James was penalized for a tackle on Zsolt Nagy, but VAR failed to overturn the soft penalty decision.
Southgate added: “The outcome depends on what we think is a tough decision.
“The striker makes a meal out of it but if you’re not at home you’re going to get those calls sometimes.”
Coady raged on the penalty in the 66th minute, saying: “We were a bit shocked at the beginning because nobody really appealed.”
England, which debuted at Jarrod Bowen and James Justin, wasted away in sweltering conditions. They will try to reply in Germany on Tuesday.
Joshua Kimmich’s 73rd-minute goal gave the Germans a 1-1 draw in Italy last night, ending Lorenzo Pellegrini’s opening goal in Bologna.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5490686/england-booed-knee-hungary-nations-league/ England stars are booed by crowd of SCHOOL CHILDREN as they take a knee in anti-racism stance against Hungary