Racist cries, discriminating chants, homophobic signs… The Hungarian Football Federation will have to play three games behind closed doors, UEFA announced on Friday (July 9th). The latter was also fined 100,000 euros for the “Discriminatory behavior of its supporters”, during the three matches played by the Hungarian selection on the occasion of the Euro.
Racist cries against black players of the France team had in particular been launched from the platform where the Hungarian ultras were located, in Budapest, on June 19. UEFA also investigated banners and other homophobic placards held up by supporters during the other first-round matches, played against Portugal and Germany.
On June 20, the governing body of European football appointed “An ethical and disciplinary inspector” to investigate “Potential discriminatory incidents in the Puskas Arena, in Budapest”. The investigation was expanded after the discovery of alleged homophobic chants and placards during Germany-Hungary, played on June 23 in Munich.
A #EqualGame banner as a sanction
On Friday, the supervisory, ethics and disciplinary body ordered the Hungarian Federation to “Playing behind closed doors its next three UEFA competition matches at home, the third with a two-year probationary period from the date of the decision”, announced the body sitting in Nyon. This sanction will not apply to qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup, organized by FIFA and not UEFA, it is specified.
In addition to a fine of 100,000 euros, the Hungarian Federation will have to “Display a banner with the message ‘#EqualGame’ and featuring the UEFA logo” during the meetings referred to in camera, the statement said. The EqualGame campaign has been in place for four seasons to fight against all kinds of discrimination.
During the first round of the Euro, UEFA was criticized for refusing the authorities in Munich (Germany) to light up the Allianz-Arena in rainbow colors, a symbol of the LGBT community and of the opening, in order to protest against a Hungarian law deemed homophobic, on the occasion of the Germany-Hungary match. UEFA had invoked an obligation of political neutrality, while ensuring its “Firm commitment” against homophobia.