The Hungarian national team against Serbia in October
For security reasons, the Bulgarian Football Union has changed the venue and the date of the Bulgaria-Hungary qualifying match for the European Championship on November 16, and decided to ban fans from the stadium, reports Nemzeti Sport.
The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) has requested that the November 16 Bulgaria-Hungary qualifier be held in Plovdiv instead of Sofia, with a kick-off time of 18:45 instead of 20:45, as originally announced. As the Bulgarian police did not agree to supervise the match in front of spectators at the original time, the DoorsUEFA accepted to hold the match behind closed doors due to the exceptional circumstances.
The BFU made this decision ten days before the meeting in order to avoid any unwelcome incidents or possible backlash.
Bulgarian fans organized a coordinated protest against the Bulgarian FU for the European Championship qualifier against Hungary.
In a statement, the Hungarian Football Federation advised supporters to “cancel any air and train tickets and accommodation reservations already purchased and ask for a refund, while carefully keeping all official documents. The Hungarian Football Federation has contacted the airlines concerned to ensure that this process takes place at the appropriate pace. Should anyone have any difficulties with the above procedure, they can report them to the Hungarian Football Federation by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.”
The Hungarian Football Federation added that “the BFU is responsible for the conduct of the match and the situation that has arisen.”
The Hungarian national team will secure their participation in the European Championship in Bulgaria if they get a point against the hosts, who have recently changed their national team captain.
It is interesting to note that this group has a history of partially or completely closed matches and restrictions on fans. In the past, only children (accompanied by a certain number of adults) were allowed to attend the Serbia-Hungary match because of the behavior of Serbian fans in Montenegro, and since then, the Montenegrins have also been punished, meaning that visiting fans are not allowed to attend the Hungary-Montenegro match in the final round.
Nemzeti Sport asked the Hungarian Football Federation’s President, Sándor Csányi, about the decision.
“The Bulgarian FU has informed UEFA and UEFA has in turn informed the Hungarian FF that the Bulgarian police cannot guarantee that the match will go ahead without any disruption and will only allow the match to take place without spectators and outside Sofia.
The Hungarian Football Federation has been very clear from the very first moment that we do not agree with the change and that the presence of Hungarian fans in the stadium is of utmost importance to us,”
“UEFA, however, said that they can only hold the match with a police permit and that the new conditions comply with the regulations for venues, thus the Hungarian Football Federation has no way to reject UEFA’s decision under the rules. If we do not play the match after this, the result will be confirmed as a 3-0 Bulgarian victory and the Hungarian team could face further penalties. In light of all this – and also, emphatically, in defense of the players of the Hungarian team – we have taken note of the decision. Although the match experience cannot be restored, the Hungarian Football Federation will do its utmost to ensure that the compensation of the fans is done properly and fairly.”
Via Nemzeti Sport, Featured image via Facebook/MLSZ – Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség