Hungarian football federation condemns fans' anti-Semitism
BUDAPEST- Agence France-PresseThe Hungarian football federation MLSZ Friday condemned fans for displays of anti-Semitism during a friendly football match last week against a visiting Israeli team.
Some fans chanted "filthy Jews" at the team and turned their backs when the Israeli anthem was played while booing and whistling.
"Such behaviour cannot be passed over in silence," even if the Israeli ambassador to Hungary "thanked the organisers and said they did their best to prevent insulting behaviour," MLSZ said.
The football federation said it has always condemned hateful, racist, anti-Semitic behaviour by fans and was determined to eradicate such behaviour from Hungarian stadiums.
The MLSZ board on Thursday launched a new security gate system that will screen football fans in an effort to forestall further incidents.
The Hungarian government also condemned the August 15 incident in a statement on Tuesday.
Israel's ambassador to Hungary said in an interview with the Internet news site atv.hu that most Hungarians were peaceful, refuting a claim by the Israeli coach, cited in the Jerusalem Post, that the Israeli team faced a "severe threat".
Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Hungary recently, with renewed tributes to the country's wartime leader Miklos Horthy, an ally of Adolf Hitler, and the rehabilitation of some anti-Semitic writers.
In May, Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel returned Hungary's highest honour because of what he called a "whitewashing" of history.