Football has “always been consolation and gratification” for the people of Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his address at a book launching ceremony in Felcsút, near Budapest, on Saturday.
The prime minister, who is also the founder of his native Felcsút’s Puskás Ferenc Football Academy, mentioned the 1950s as a golden age for Hungarian football, and said that “on the lawn you could even defeat the team of an occupying power, therefore football should be treated as a part of culture and history”.
Orbán went on to say that “Hungarian football is basically a story of ingenious presentiments and motivation… art itself”.
“Football is life itself, a fair and open game,” he added.
Orbán spoke highly of Hungary’s football academies as a system “serving the whole of Hungarian football society”. “We are looking forward to this book becoming reality and truly good soccer players graduating from these academies,” he said.
The book, a collection of studies entitled Football and Science by Mihaly Takacs and Istvan Csaki, both employees of the Felcsut academy, will be used as a university textbook.