Anti-Hungarian atmosphere at Euro 2020 qualifiers

The Imre Mikó Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance filed a complaint to the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD), ­­- which is a Romanian government agency established in 2001 responsible for applying both Romanian and EU anti-discrimination laws – reflecting on the anti-Hungarian atmosphere of the Romanian national football team’s games played in Norway and in Malta. The complaint was also sent to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), and to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

During the European championship qualifiers the Romanian national team played in Oslo, Norway on June 7, then three days later, on June 10 in Malta, in the Ta’Qali National Stadium.  During both games the national team’s fans continuously shouted anti-Hungarian slogans. It could even be heard on the TV broadcast as they kept shouting”Out with the Hungarians from the country!”.  In Oslo, about 800 Romanian fans were involved in a similar display of xenophobia.

According to the minority rights legal services organization the case itself is unacceptable, but concerns are further increased by the fact that the games had no Hungarian aspects at all, none of the referees were Hungarian, and Romania and Hungary aren’t even the same qualifying groups.

Taking into consideration that this year the Romanian national team’s fans showed anti-Hungarian attitude already multiple times both at home and away games, the Imre Mikó Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance sent letters to the Romanian Football Federation (FRF), to the FIFA and to the UEFA, asking for the strictest possible sanction in case of the national team.

Because of the discrimination they also filed a complaint to the National Council for Combating Discrimination.

“We are not going to let Hungarians be intimidated under any circumstances, and we believe that sports should be played in the spirit of fair play. I also encourage everybody, if they experience manifestations insulting Hungarians, to turn to us with confidence”

– said Erika Benkő, leader of the Imre Mikó Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance.


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Author: Attila Szoó