Antisemitic chants at football game in Budapest

August 21, 2012

Hungarian authorities addressed the behaviour of fans who chanted antisemitic slogans during a football game between Hungary and Israel last Wednesday, 15 August.

Hungarian fans chanted “Stinking Jews” and “Heil Benito Mussolini,” turned their backs during Hatikva and waved Palestinian and Iranian flags throughout the match in Budapest.

Government officials said: “The government is determined to counter-act any discrimination.”

However, immediate action will not be taken as the spokesman said: “The extremist behaviour is not in direct contradiction with the law, therefore there is no legal ground for the authorities to immediately take action.”

Eli Guttman, Israel’s football coach, said the team had been warned about "possible terrorist attacks” following last month’s attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

Avi Luzon, the head of Israel’s Football Association, said threats would not dissuade Israel from playing in matches abroad.

“We have no other country, and we are proud to represent Israel anywhere in the world.”

Relations between Hungary and Israel have deteriorated since Laslow Kover, speaker of Hungary’s national assembly, recently attended a ceremony that honoured the pro-Nazi writer, Jozsef Nyiro.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “anxious” about the rise of antisemitism which he called a “dangerous phenomenon” during a meeting with Hungarian President Janos Aler in Jerusalem last month.

Last updated: 3:59pm, August 22 2012