The German foreign ministry stated on Thursday that the Hungarian government’s statements regarding Zsolt Petry’s Tuesday dismissal from Hertha Berlin were “in no way comprehensible.” Head of the Prime Minister’s Press Office Gergely Gulyás had described Petry’s dismissal as an infringement on Europe’s rule of law and implied that Hungary does not want another totalitarian regime in Germany after the Nazis.
The spokesman of the German foreign ministry emphasized that Germany rejects Hungary’s references to National Socialism.
The diplomatic responses come after German Bundesliga team Hertha BSC dismissed coach Zsolt Petry for his comments on immigration and his criticism of rainbow families.
In his most recent Kossuth Rádió interview on Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán voiced his support for Petry and attributed the soccer team’s actions to the “suppressive politics” of liberal politics in Europe. “Whoever does not agree with the liberal opinion is suppressed. And if they still continue to voice their opinion, they are punished.”
Orbán believes Petry lost his job because he did not agree with certain people. The prime minister referred to the seven rules which he came up with for Hungary and the relevance football has for Hungarians as the reasons for which he is obligated to support Petry.
Fidesz politician Tibor Navracsics said that it is a joke that a football club would select its coaches based on political ideology.
Hertha BSC was cowardly. It would have been brave if the club would have said ‘while I do not agree with you, I will respect your opinion.'”
However, the former foreign minister for the Orbán government has also pointed out that a football team sacking its coach for whatever reason is in no way a diplomatic issue.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI