“Football is not politics. Don’t read things that aren’t there,” wrote the Hungarian prime minister.
The appearance of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing a scarf with the image of a map of the ‘Greater Hungary‘ during a soccer match sparked criticism in neighboring countries, reports Reuters.
Orban wore the garment when he attended the friendly match between the Hungarian and Greek teams in Budapest. However, the map in question includes parts of present-day Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine which belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary until the end of the First World War.
“The promotion of revisionist ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and does not comply with the principles of European policy. We will invite the Hungarian ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, to whose attention the the inadmissibility of Orban’s action,” the spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, wrote on his social networks after demanding an apology.
For its part, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated in a brief statement that it had conveyed to the Hungarian ambassador in Bucharest its “firm disapproval” of Orban’s gesture.
“Any manifestation of a revisionist type, regardless of the form it takes, is unacceptable, contrary to current realities and to the commitments assumed jointly by Romania and Hungary,” the text reads.
Faced with this, the Hungarian Prime Minister issued a message through his social networks. “Soccer is not politics. Don’t read things that aren’t there,” Orban said. “The Hungarian national team belongs to all Hungarians, wherever they live,” he added.