Commentators from all political circles interpret the unexpected success of the Hungarian team and its tragic exit from the European Football Championship as a political allegory.
Overview of the Hungarian press by budapost.eu
Magyar NemzetFerenc Kis suggests that football is an indicator of the spiritual health of society and that the only countries that are successful on the pitch are those with a strong national identity. The pro-government columnist recalls that Germany’s sense of post-war humiliation began to heal after the national team won the 1954 World Cup. Kis speculates that Hungary’s draw against Germany in the Euro 2020 competition last week suggests that the German team does not identify strongly with their country and national cause, while the Hungarian team has shown great determination. Kis sees the match as an indication that German national identity and values have been diluted by momentary political expectations of defending this or that minority or gays on the pitch. Kis concludes by suggesting that if the opposition wins the 2022 elections, “Hungary’s national existence will be compromised”.
Magyar DemocrataThe editor-in-chief of András Bencsik also sees the draw with Germany as a triumph of patriotism and cooperation. The pro-government expert believes that the good performance of the Hungarian team is based on the success of the Orbán government in boosting the economy, culture and national spirit. If Hungarians show the same national pride and determination to fight together for a common cause beyond the pitch, Bencsik adds, the country will see rapid improvements. By the way, Bencsik hopes that after Hungary’s strong performance at the Euro, the opposition will stop criticizing the government’s investment in sports and stadiums.
At Mandinate, Gergely Szilvay writes that after the draw with Hungary, “the Teutonic tribes should go back and look into the fire and wonder” what happened to them. The conservative expert describes the performance of the Hungarian outsiders as a victory against the German “spiritual colonizers”, who wanted to teach Hungary a lesson and punish her for defending national identity and not adopting pro-ideology. LGBT.
In a front page opinion piece, Élet és IrodalomZoltán Kovács editor-in-chief fears that instead of remembering the Hungarian team’s strong performance on the pitch, the world will remember the tarnished image of Hungarian fans protesting against getting down on their knees and expressing homophobic feelings. The liberal expert accuses the government of pretending to be a group of irredentist, racist and homophobic supporters, defending their protest against the knee grabbing and display of rainbow symbols during matches.
In a front page editorial, Magyar Narancs thinks the skirmish around the rainbow-colored lighting of German stadiums sends a clear message: that Hungarians should be ashamed of the government’s anti-LGBT legislation. The liberal weekly finds it scandalous that UEFA did not allow the Munich stadium where the match between Germany and Hungary took place to light up like a rainbow. Magyar Narancs explains UEFA’s decision by saying that UEFA (as well as the Hungarian government) is “in China’s pocket”.
At MercéVanessza Juhász dismisses as complacent the Hungarian government’s argument that politics should be kept away from sport. The commentator on the left recalls that during the Germany-Hungary match, national colors were projected on the Hungarian stadiums. Juhász thinks this is a clear act of identity politics, and therefore the Hungarian government cannot claim to keep politics out of stadiums.
András Jámbor in a post on Facebook calls on Hungarians angry at the government’s decision to spend hundreds of billions of forints on stadiums rather than on healthcare and the public sector not to hate the national team. The alt-left expert and candidate for the opposition candidate for Prime Minister in the 2022 elections notes that only a few of the players on the pitch are former football academies funded by “pro oligarchs. government “.