At an amateur football championship organised in Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár the past weekend, supporters of the Universitatea Cluj football team violently beat the Hungarian fans of CFR 1907 and fans of Videoton and FTC, guest teams from Hungary, in the presence of their families.

The Hungarian fanbase of the CFR 1907 football team regularly hosts amateur football championships, to which they invite the supporters of other teams from Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. As one organiser put it, it is more like a family picnic, since players bring their families as well. The amateur championship took place on a private, rented football court on the iconic Belvedere/Fellegvár hill of Cluj-Napoca/Kolozsvár. Sadly, this year’s event was disturbed by some football hooligans shouting anti-Hungarian slogans, supporters of CFR 1907’s biggest rival, Universitatea Cluj. The incident quickly escalated and turned into a mass fight, when the Universitatea hooligans started beating the CFR fans and their guests, armed with sticks and chains. By the time the police got there, the instigators had already fled the scene. The incident is all the more outrageous considering that the violent attack was witnessed by small children.

The president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR/RMDSZ), Hunor KELEMEN, declared in a statement that he condemns the actions of the perpetrators, while also expressing his dismay at the fact that the police only started investigating the matter after it was extensively covered in the media. Moreover, he added: “Sport is about competition, and not about hating one another. It embodies all the important values in our society […]. But it must never be about division, only mutual respect, tolerance and fairplay.

The Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance is shocked at the level of anti-Hungarian hate speech within sport lately, and especially this latest violent attack against Hungarian sport fans. We ask that the Romanian Football Federation, as well as the various football clubs take the necessary measures to prevent such actions. Our organisation also urges the authorities to apprehend the culprits and ensure proper punishment.


Romanian journalist mourns over the extension of linguistic rights

A Romanian journalist, Rareș BOGDAN, one of the protagonists of the recent anti-Hungarian discourse in Romania, the presenter of a television programme on Realitatea TV entitled Jocuri de Putere, has yet again provoked his followers with a nationalistic Facebook post. He complains about the fact that a legislative proposal meant to reduce the threshold above which minorities have the right to use their mother tongue in the public administration from 20% to 10%, has already passed through two committees in the Chamber of Deputies.

In a mournful tone, the TV presenter observed that the social-democrats, ALDE and UDMR/RMDSZ have all backed the proposal. He concluded his post on a pathetic note: “Romanian history is being trampled on. The Romanian language is thrown in the trash… I feel like crying with pain, and the sadness breaks my heart. Your Romania and mine is dying each day…” We find it regrettable that in the European Union of the 21st century somebody can still believe that extending minority rights is an affront to the majority population.