Budapest, Hungary – UEFA has ordered Hungary to play two games behind closed doors in response to homophobic and racist behaviour by the country’s supporters at all three of its Euro 2020 group games.
Charged for “discriminatory behaviour of supporters“, the Hungarian Football Federation has also been fined €100,000 and ordered to display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame”, with the UEFA logo on it.
UEFA’s ruling follows an investigation into alleged homophobic banners and monkey noises during Hungary’s Euro 2020 group-stage matches last month in Budapest and Munich against Portugal, France and Germany.
UEFA first appointed an ethics and disciplinary inspector to conduct a probe into “potential discriminatory incidents” during Hungary’s first two games of the tournament against Portugal and France, played at Budapest’s Ferenc Puskás arena.
During the game against Portugal, images of an anti-LGBT banner among the home supporters in the stands circulated on social media and was reported to UEFA by anti-discrimination group Fare, while there were reports of racist chants directed at France’s N’Golo Kanté, Paul Pogba et Kylian Mbappé.
The investigation was widened days later following the match between Germany and Hungary in Munich.
“The committee that makes a decision like that is a pitiful and cowardly body,” wrote foreign minister Peter Szijjarto in a post on his Facebook page. “They should be ashamed of themselves. Just like in communism: no need for evidence, it’s enough to have anonymous reports.”
Hungary is not scheduled to play another UEFA competition until the 2022-23 Nations League, which starts in June next year. The order does not apply to World Cup qualifiers, which fall under FIFA’s jurisdiction.
These incidents come as Viktor Orban’s right-wing government recently passed a controversial legislation banning schools from activities deemed to promote homosexuality or gender reassignment.