Opposition Jobbik party lawmaker Ádám Steinmetz, a former water polo player and Olympic champion, on Wednesday criticised the government for billions of forints of “wasteful spending” on sports projects in recent years.
Problematic areas include how training programmes for young soccer players are implemented, the misguided creation of sports facility development projects in neighbouring countries in regions with Hungarian communities and the new sports digital data base called National Sport Information System, Ádám Steinmetz told a press conference.
Statistics Show Sports Main Priority for Gov’t since 2011
The nationalist party lawmaker cited the example of Kisvárda soccer club, in north-eastern Hungary, that regularly plays matches with a team composed of ten foreign and only one Hungarian player. Many of the players have Ukrainian names, he said, adding that the training of foreign players was likely to be commonplace elsewhere in the country too.
Hungary Spent the Most on Sports In EU
In the area of Hungarian government funding for sport infrastructure development projects beyond the borders, he noted the construction of a stadium in Eszék (Osijek), in northern Croatia. “A Croatian city has received several billions of forints in Hungarian public money where the Hungarian community numbers less than one percent of the local population, and none of them play in a youth team,” Steinmetz said.
He also criticised the procedure for implementing the digital sports database, saying the government had wasted billions on its development that had “dragged on for several years by now with little to show for it”.
Featured photo via Ádám Steinmetz’s Facebook page