Fifa’s decision to ban Hungary fans from their country’s all-important World Cup qualifying game against Romania in March has been met with mixed reactions.
The ban was handed down following anti-Semitic chanting by fans in a friendly at home against Israel in August.
The country’s FA have appealed the decision, the local press have called it shocking, but most people on the streets of Budapest and elsewhere in the country feel Fifa got it right.
One supporter said: ‘‘I think this was the right decision and it will be a lesson for the football fans as to how they should enjoy football matches in a cultured way.”
Hungarian fans were also seen taunting the Israeli team by waving Iranian flags – implying they were not safe.
Another Hungary fan said: “I think this is a problem, but it’s a problem of a certain small group of the fans and now it affects the whole football society.”
Fifa also handed a similar punishment to Bulgaria after its fans racially abused a Denmark player in October.
In both cases FIFA’s disciplinary committee warned that a repeat offence would lead to even harsher penalties, including points deduction, the forfeiting of the match or even disqualification from the World Cup.
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