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Magyar Nemzet - Hungary | Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fifa stigmatises sport-loving Hungary

The International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) ruled on Tuesday that Hungary must play its upcoming game against Romania in the qualification rounds for the 2014 World Cup before empty stands. Hungarian fans repeatedly shouted anti-Semitic slogans in a friendly game between Hungary and Israel in August 2012. The conservative daily Magyar Nemzet can't understand Fifa's decision: "This punishment is the biggest tailwind anti-Semitism in Hungary has been given for a long time. ... The unusually stiff ruling is not just painful, unjust and exaggerated, it's also highly counterproductive as far as the campaign to limit anti-Semitism goes. It is painful because on the one hand it prevents tens of thousands of fans from witnessing a unique event, and on the other hand it robs the Hungarian team of support that can spur it on to victory. Moreover Fifa's decision is unfair and exaggerated because it doesn't just punish and stigmatise the anti-Semites but the sport-loving public - and in fact the entire country."

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