FIFA has fined the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) 20,000 Swiss Francs (roughly $20,500 USD) over what the international sporting body described as “homophobic chants” directed at superstar footballer Cristiano Ronaldo during a World Cup qualifier between Hungary and Portugal on September 3rd.
During that match (which Hungary lost 1-0), Hungary’s supporters were extremely vocal in their taunts of the Portuguese opposition. In particular, Hungarian fans at the match taunted Ronaldo with chants of “Cristiano is Homosexual”, which has become a staple among certain Hungarian supporters in matches against Portugal. Below, you can see fans echoing the chant before the game as well:
As Hungarian news site Index notes, this is the third time that Hungary has received a fine or warning during World Cup qualifiers due to fan misbehavior. Last October, during a match against Latvia, MLSZ was fined 10,000 francs ( $10,250 USD) due to Hungarian fans knocking over the fence and bringing fireworks into the match. In addition, at a March game against Portugal, the Hungarian Federation got away with just a warning for unspecified fan behavior that delayed the start of the match.
Hungary’s national team is far from the only one to receive fines from FIFA for various issues caused by either fans or players; for example, in December of 2016 the international body issued a total of $580,000 USD worth of fines for various infractions over the course of the year. These included, as CNN reported, fines against Poland, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela, which were each
fined between $19,500-$34,000 for supporters’ unsporting conduct, including homophobic chants.