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Loophole lets in 30,000 for Hungary’s ‘closed door’ England tie

Hungary’s Nations League opener against England in Budapest Saturday will see over 30,000 children and their guardians in attendance despite a UEFA closed doors order over racist abuse last year.

“Over 30,000 have registered so far” for complimentary tickets for the Group 3 tie, Hungarian FA (MLSZ) spokesperson Jeno Sipos told AFP.

A loophole in UEFA’s rules states that “children under the age of 14 from schools and/or football academies can be invited to the match free of charge.” 

According to the rules every 10 children must be accompanied by one adult.

Registration for the game in the Puskas Arena in the Hungarian capital is open until Friday, said Sipos.

Last year UEFA levied Hungary a three-match fan ban – later reduced to two after an MLSZ appeal – over “discriminatory behaviour” by fans at last year’s Euro 2020 tournament.

Incidents of homophobic chanting and racist abuse were alleged to have occurred during Hungary’s games against France, Portugal and Germany in June.

Last September FIFA also ordered Hungary to play two matches behind closed doors, with one suspended for two years, and fined the federation 200,000 Swiss francs ($215,000) over their fans’ racist chants at England players during a World Cup qualifier in Budapest earlier that month.

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