Some 18 Hungarian football fans were detained by the German police, 16 of them have since been released. This adds to some other minor conflicts accompanying the game, probably originating from recent, political overtones. The Hungarian government also spoke up in the case criticizing the German authorities’ attitude.
Unfriendly reception of Hungarian fans?
Reports on the treatment of Hungarian fans and the game’s accompanying events have ignited criticism of government politicians. According to the Foreign Minister, Hungarian fans in Munich faced “continuous provocation” and “incorrect treatment,” such as when “riot police stood up in front of the Hungarian camp or when their bus was held up for hours.” Bavarian authorities exhibited an “unaccustomed, shockingly hostile, and incorrect behavior,” Péter Szijjártó said, adding that “those that advocate diversity, tolerance, democracy, and liberal values now added an unscrupulous and mean political dimension to the match.”
In his view, “some people” had sought to “involve the match, players, and spectators in mean political games and in a campaign of lies.”
Earlier, he called it an “unprecedented gesture” that Bavarian authorities “…refused to give permission for the presence of Hungarian consuls” at the stadium. He insisted that the German authorities had only released the bus stopped twice “thanks to the firm stance of (Hungarian) consuls.”
Besides the fan with the rainbow flag who invaded the pitch, and the whistling during the Hungarian anthem (which was followed by a group of Hungarian fans turning their backs during the German hymn and showing off the universal middle finger gesture), Szijjártó might have considered it a provocation that Hungarian fans weren’t allowed to march to the stadium, and were instead put on buses. In addition, some of the vehicles were decorated with rainbow flags, among the 12,000 that were handed out to fans before kick-off.
Moreover, the PMO head at his regular press conference also spoke up and followed Szijjártó’s line of thinking. Gergely Gulyás similarly slammed the German authorities’ attitude. In his view “it is not illogical” to think that these acts were related to the Hungarian government’s new controversial measures.
Amid a virtual consensus from all domestic political sides, the Fidesz-led government strengthened the anti-pedophilia law in May. However, days before the bill’s final vote, the ruling parties amended the package with several additional measures restrictive to the LGBTQI community (you can read more here
). As a result, the Hungarian government has once again found itself in the middle of domestic and international debates. In protest, the city of Munich wished to light up Allianz Arena in rainbow colors for the crucial game, something that UEFA eventually disallowed. Since football and footballers have also been affected, it most be noted at this point that neither a Hungarian player nor team as a whole took any stance in the debate. With the exception of goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi, who in February made clear his support
of rainbow families.
German police: There were breaches
German authorities said they had stopped the aforementioned bus following reports that at least two hundred of the (2,000-2,500) Hungarian supporters arriving to the game belonged to ‘problematic’ groups.
Several pyrotechnic devices were confiscated and proceedings were initiated after the inspections. In addition, during the afternoon gathering, several supporters used prohibited pyrotechnic devices, similarly facing confiscation and prosecution.
The German police also reported on the events in the stadium: in addition to homophobic chants before the kick-off, fans also went over to a sector close to the German supporters, from where security had to push them back. Someone threw a bottle at the police, and was later arrested. Arrests were also made for possession of pyrotechnic devices and drugs, and for the “usage of symbols of unconstitutional organizations,” the police concluded in their report.
UEFA to investigate all of Hungary’s game
Similar to the games against Portugal and France (with alleged racist chants and displays of anti-LGBTQ images), the UEFA will investigate the Wednesday game as well. The organization announced on Friday that it had opened a probe into “potential discriminatory incidents” during the 2-2 draw. This last inquiry is the fifth case at the EURO 2020 that will be investigated.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Kovács/MTI