UEFA to investigate discrimination at Hungary’s Euro 2020 matches

European football’s governing body says probe over ‘potential discriminatory incidents’ in Budapest to be opened amid racist chants and displays of anti-LGBTQ images.

Hungary's Endre Botka, left, and France's Kylian Mbappe battle for the ball during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group F match between Hungary and France at the Ferenc Puskas stadium in Budapest, Hungary [Laszlo Balogh/Pool/AP]

Two Euro 2020 football matches in Hungary are being investigated for “potential discriminatory incidents”, UEFA said.

The governing body of European football said on Sunday that a “UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed” to conduct an investigation, without providing any details on the incidents.

The anti-discrimination group Fare, which monitors matches for incidents of racism and other forms of discrimination, sent a report to UEFA and discussed the matter with officials.

On Saturday, during Hungary’s match against France which ended in a 1-1 draw, Hungarian fans marched to the Puskas Arena displaying a banner calling on players to stop taking a knee to protest racism.

French players were abused, with striker Kylian Mbappe being greeted with monkey chants when on the ball. Fellow forward Karim Benzema was also a target for fans.

Budapest is the only Euro 2020 host city to allow full crowds for games.

Anti-LGBT discrimination

During Hungary’s opening match against Portugal in Budapest on Tuesday, images on social media showed banners with “Anti-LMBTQ” on them – the Hungarian abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ).

Hungary’s parliament passed legislation this past week that bans the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change, amid strong criticism from human rights groups and opposition parties.

Hardline nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who faces an election next year, has grown increasingly conservative on social policy, railing against immigrants and LGBTQ people during his self-styled illiberal rule, which has deeply divided Hungarians.

For Hungary’s next and final game against Germany on Wednesday in Munich, the city’s Mayor Dieter Reiter said Sunday he was going to write to UEFA to ask for permission for the Allianz Arena to be lit up with rainbow colours as a sign against homophobia and intolerance when the teams play on Wednesday.

“This is an important sign of tolerance and equality,” Reiter told dpa news agency.

Munich’s city council had already called for the stadium to be lit in rainbow colours for the final Euro 2020 group game to protest the Hungarian anti-LGBTQ law.

Source: News Agencies