Hungary sanctioned by UEFA

UEFA have announced on their website that Hungary will have to play 3 games behind closed doors in their next UEFA Competition games. They will only play 2 of the 3 games behind closed doors, with the 3rd game being suspended for 2 years.

Hungary were referred to the UEFA Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) following allegations that during the the Hungary v Portugal game Christiano Ronaldo was called a homosexual and during the Hungary v France game, French players Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema were subjected to monkey chants. Interestingly both players, along with their team mate, Lucas Digne, have stated that they did not hear any such chants at any time during the game. The allegations appear to focus on the alleged conduct of the “Carpathian Brigade” ultra fans group only and not the Hungary fans as a whole.

Hungary have also been fined €100,000 and ordered to display a banner during the behind closed door matches, with with the wording “#EqualGame”, and with the UEFA logo on it.

The CEDB statement is as follows:

CEDB: Hungary v Portugal, Hungary v France, Germany v Hungary

The UEFA Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) has announced the following decision:

Matches: UEFA EURO 2020 group stage matches Hungary vs Portugal (0:3), Hungary vs France (1:1) and Germany vs Hungary (2:2), played on 15, 19 and 23 June respectively.

Charges against the Hungarian Football Federation:

Discriminatory behaviour of supporters – Art. 14(2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations


The CEDB has decided:

  • To order the Hungarian Football Federation to play its next three (3) UEFA competition matches as host association behind closed doors, the third of which being suspended for a probationary period of two (2) years as from the date of the decision, for the discriminatory behaviour of its supporters. The Hungarian Football Federation has also been fined €100,000.
  • To order the Hungarian Football Federation to implement the following directive in the above-mentioned matches in which it will play as host association: to display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame”, with the UEFA logo on it.

UEFA national team competitions are the UEFA European Championship and UEFA Nations League so the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers should not be affected. The ban will come into effect during Hungary’s next 2 home games in the Nations League.

The charges and decision will come as a blow to MLSZ President Csányi Sándor who has previously spoken out against racism and asked fans on several occasions to not behave this way during matches. He has spoken of the affect and harm that it has on the National team. It will also take the shine off of the wide plaudits that the Federation has received for the excellent set up in Budapest during the Euros, the ticketing, the smoothness of the match days themselves, the excellent security and safety of the fans inside the stadium, the volume and passion of the Hungary fans in the stadium and the way the match officials, UEFA referee Observers and UEFA Match Day Delegates were looked after.

Henrik Hegedűs, senior data analyst at MLSZ and permanent expert at M4 Sport, said in response to the decision that he was unsure whether the level of the penalty was proportionate to the behaviour of the fans. He added that in no football match in the world can one hundred percent rule out wrong forms of behaviour.

“You can get involved in any match in the world and you can be awarded any number of penalties for it if someone wants to. By this I do not mean that UEFA has beaten Hungary, but it is difficult to say that if we look at the Anglo-Danish semi-finals, everything would have been fine there. It doesn’t help us to punish others, but one would feel a little fairer to make that decision. ”

Hegedűs said of the UEFA-led procedure: “the stadiums are occupied by UEFA-mandated persons and inspectors, who draw up minutes in such cases, describe what happened, in what minutes, audio and video recordings are made of it. It is difficult to argue with the decision because the UEFA Disciplinary Committee makes a decision based on clear evidence.”

He has a very good point. England were charged with 3 offences after the game v Denmark:

Use of laser pointer by its supporters – Article 16(2)(d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR)
Disturbance caused by its supporters during the national anthem – Article 16(2)(g) DR
Lighting of fireworks by its supporters – Article 16(2)(c) DR

In caparison to the sanctions against Hungary they have been fined just €30,000. No action appears to have been taken against their fans for the “There were 10 German bombers” song sung repeatedly during the game or the Nazi comments being made.

No action appears to be have taken against Germany for the booing and whistling during the Hungarian National Anthem or for a supporter running onto the pitch during the anthem – why not?

It is not the first time that disproportionate sanctions against Hungary have happened. In Romania in 2014, along with the “bozgor” and “Afară, afară cu ungurii din ţară!” chants, the latter being well known as a traditional Romanian anti-minority chant, and general hatred Hungary fans were pelted with stones and chairs. That’s without even mentioning the “România este stat naţional, suveran şi independent, unitar şi indivizibil,” banners clearly on display. Sections of Hungarian fans were not innocent, calling Romanian fans gypsies, in response to the bozgor chants, chants of “Transylvania is Hungarian!” in response to the “Afară, afară cu ungurii din ţară!” chants and flying the Szekely flag. Following the match both teams were charged as followed:

Romanian Football Federation (FRF)
Incidents: Setting off/throwing of fireworks and missiles – Article 16(2) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Use of laser pointer – Art. 16(2) DR; Crowd disturbances – Art. 16(2) DR; Illicit banners – Art. 16 DR

Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ)
Incidents: Racist behaviour – Article 14 UEFA Disciplinary Regulations; Setting off/throwing of fireworks and missiles – Art. 16(2) DR; Crowd disturbance (seats destroyed and thrown) – Art. 16(2) DR”

The difference is noticeable – Why are anti-Romanian chants classed as racism but Anti-Hungarian ones not? Both are as bad as each other & equally unacceptable. Why were Romania not charged with throwing stones & chairs at the Hungarian fans? Both sets of fans booed and whistled during the National Anthems. Both teams were fined, Romania €2,000 more than Hungary, both received partial stadium closures – in Hungary’s case it was 10% of the stadium closed, in Romanias case 1 sector out of 123! The charges, fines and sanctions should have been equal.

Whilst I accept that a section of our fans need to learn to behave during games, their passion is incredible, they just need to show it without the right wing ideology, before and during matches, it does feel like Hungary get more heavily sanctioned than other teams.