Hungary football club fined over fans’ Nazi celebration

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BUDAPEST – Hungarian football club Ferencvaros was fined thousands of euros by national sports authorities on Friday after fans commemorated the death of a suspected Nazi war criminal during a weekend match.

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The Budapest club was fined 800,000 forints (2,680 euros, $3,580) after supporters unfurled a banner honoring Laszlo Csatari during a game on Saturday against cross-town rivals MTK, a club favored by the Jewish community.

Csatari, who was awaiting trial for allegedly sending 12,000 Jews to death camps, died on August 10, aged 98.

“We can only repeat that any (political or racist) remark or action, hidden or overt, has no place on the pitch,” the Hungarian football association said in a statement on its website Friday.

It added that the fine was low as the club had clearly distanced itself from the fans’ actions and had cooperated in finding the culprits.

“We are sorry for the provocation that took place during the match between Ferencvaros and MTK, which was carried out by a handful of fans who violated the spirit of our 114-year-old club as well as the spirit of our supporters,” Ferencvaros said in a statement on Thursday.

Opposition parties and the Jewish community also condemned the fans.

In March, world football governing body FIFA ordered Hungary to play a World Cup qualifier against Romania behind closed doors following anti-Semitic incidents during a Hungary-Israel friendly in Budapest last August.

AFP

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