Football Fans Angered By Policies Of Hungarian FA

Thousands of Hungarian football fans gathered in front of the Parliament Building on Sunday to protest against the introduction of fan cards and the compulsory registration of fans at Hungarian stadiums. The event, which was watched by hundreds of police, passed off peacefully.

In a petition addressed to PM Viktor Orbán, the fans recognised the government’s merits in developing the infrastructure of Hungarian soccer but complained about what they called “anti-fan legal regulations” that scared away the most enthusiastic fans from matches. “Without the ultras there is no atmosphere, and no football,” said one speaker. “We remain ready to negotiate with the MLSZ, the next rally may not be so peaceful,” he warned.

Over 2,000 so-called “ultras” from dozens of clubs – including fierce Budapest rivals Ferencváros and Újpest – lit flares outside the parliament building and chanted insults against the Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ), the local governing body of the sport. The fans, who also organised a boycott of games this weekend, say recent MLSZ measures aimed at curbing violence in stadia, including increased camera surveillance, and hand-scanners, are too harsh and are forcing the ultras to stay away.

via and AFP photo: Attila Polyák –