UEFA: We have not permitted the use of Greater Hungary symbols at football matches
March 22. 2023. – 05:18 PM
UEFA has refuted claims that it has allowed the use of banners depicting Greater Hungary at matches of the Hungarian national football team, and has even warned of sanctions in the event of such paraphernalia being displayed. In response to requests from Romanian newspapers, the organisation's press department sent a clarification of its position to several newspapers.
The news that this permission had been granted was announced by the Hungarian Football Federation, (Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség/MLSZ) which said that the organization had allowed the presence of banners depicting a map of Greater Hungary at matches of the national team, accepting the argument that the use of a map of historical Hungary does not in itself constitute "racist behaviour".
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The FRF, the Romanian Football Federation, also reacted to the news, stating that the MLSZ claim that UEFA does not consider displaying the map of historical Hungary at Hungarian national team matches a disciplinary offence is not true.
"UEFA has not allowed and will not allow the display of the symbols mentioned by the Hungarian Football Federation in matches played at the European level," the FRF said in a statement on its website. According to the FRF, the Hungarian Football Federation made its announcement based on faulty conclusions, as the use of these symbols is contrary to UEFA's disciplinary rules on the display of provocative and/or political messages and if necessary, the FRF will refer the matter to international disciplinary fora.
According to the FRF, the MLSZ has drawn the wrong conclusions in its announcement, as the display of these symbols is contrary to UEFA's disciplinary rules on the use of provocative and/or political messages and the FRF will refer the matter to international disciplinary forums if necessary.
In the wake of the controversy, the Romanian sports press contacted UEFA asking for clarification of its position. In its reply, UEFA states that it is aware of press reports that claim it has approved the use of flags and banners depicting Greater Hungary in matches organised by UEFA. However, this is not accurate:
UEFA has not authorised the use of such flags or banners at any level, and the presence of such flags and banners may therefore lead to disciplinary consequences.
The European Football Association also states that the Hungarian Football Federation has been duly informed and has been advised to take the necessary steps to prevent the public use of such flags and banners at UEFA matches.
"If we receive a report of the use of such flags or banners, it is up to UEFA's disciplinary bodies to assess the situation and impose possible disciplinary sanctions in accordance with UEFA's disciplinary regulations," the association's press office said.
Transtelex reached out to the Hungarian Football Federation, requesting a clarification of the misunderstanding, but in its response, the Federation only stated that its position on the matter had been made clear in the press release issued yesterday and it remains unchanged. They reiterated their call to fans to read the MLSZ statement and abide by the rules.
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