Germany and England both backed out of wearing rainbow-colored "One love" armbands during the World Cup in Qatar.Continue reading
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has declared the depiction of Great Hungary, a symbol of national unity, as a political message and says it has no place at football events, including Hungarian national team matches. The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) has no room for maneuver and will comply with the decision.
Now, according to UEFA’s decision, it is forbidden to bring anything depicting Great Hungary, such as banners, to matches organized by UEFA, as this could be considered provocative. However, this ban does not apply to matches organized by the Hungarian Football Association, where fans are still free to wear the symbol.
Zoltán Borbély, a lawyer and former board member of the Hungarian Football Association, told Hungarian newspaper Mandiner that MLSZ has no say in what UEFA considers a banned symbol. He also pointed out that anyone who does not abide by the rules must accept the consequences, adding
that those rebelling against the ban would mainly harm Hungarian football and Hungarian teams.
Sándor Csányi, president of the Hungarian Football Association, said in an interview with Hungarian sports magazine Nemzeti Sport that there could easily be serious consequences if fans display the symbol of Great Hungary in any form at national team matches. However, he is still working behind the scenes to get the symbol removed from the ban list. Looking to the future, Sándor Csányi expressed the hope that they would succeed in convincing decision-makers that the use of the symbol of Great Hungary should not be seen as an expression of exclusion. They had already tried to explain this to UEFA in October last year, in a submission on a specific case.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has not been unmoved by the case either, saying that denouncing flags depicting Great Hungary is a complete lack of historical knowledge. He said that the European Football Association’s anti-discrimination group FARE (Football Against Racism In Europe) is practically an organization of voluntary labor guards, whose members have no idea of history if the Hungarian national football team is reported for displaying flags of Great Hungary at its matches.
Szijjártó stressed that
what we describe here as Great Hungary is a historical fact, not revisionism, not a threat to our neighbors, not nationalism.”
This is not the first time that the Great Hungary symbol has caused problems: last year, some objected to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wearing a scarf with this symbol after the Hungary-Greece soccer game when he congratulated Balázs Dzsudzsák, former captain of the national team. Foreign ministries of several neighboring countries, MEPs and Western media have criticized Viktor Orbán for wearing the scarf.
However, it is important to say that the map depicting Great Hungary is not a depiction of an “expanded” Hungary, and the country does not hold revisionist views. Truth is, Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory as a result of the Trianon peace treaty in 1920 after the First World War. There are still a significant number of Hungarian communities living in the territories that were separated from the motherland.
Featured photo via Facebook