Budapest has been paralysed by the parade which consisted of fans marching for EURO 2020 matches. Thousands of people were marching through the city, from Heroes’ Square to Puskás Arena. But who is behind the spectacular marches?
According to Telex, members of the Carpathian Brigade fan group were organising and leading the marches in black t-shirts, carrying a huge poster labelled “Hungary,” firing red, white, and green smoke bombs.
The Carpathian Brigade is the national team’s “official”, united fan base. Deutsche Welle called them “a neo-Nazi ultra group made up of members of extreme-right groups from across Hungarian football, united behind the national team” in a recent article about the proposal of illuminating the Munich arena in rainbow colours for the Hungarian match.
HVG claims that despite their often harsh or radical expressions and actions, the Carpathian Brigade has greatly improved the mental state of the Hungarian stands.
The Carpathian Brigade was formed in 2009. It is not a team of committed fans from different clubs but is made up of people who are specifically fans of the national team. They are responsible for the flags and posters, the chanting, and the general atmosphere at matches. Although they do not have a specific political background, there are many right-wingers among them.
According to HVG, while it is characteristic of Hungarian football fans that they hate the other teams and their fan base, the goal of the Carpathian Brigade, with its 50-100 core members, was to gather all Hungarian football fans and show a united Hungarian support base.
However, HVG says the scene is changing.
The big turn in the perception of supporters came at a time when, after a long period of failure, the national team began to perform well. It was at the 2016 European Championships that tens of thousands of people found themselves marching along the streets of Marseille with the ultras when people realised everyone had a place in the stands, regardless of political views.
The Brigade now not only pays attention to the uniform appearance (black t-shirt with the white inscription of ‘Hungary’), but they also emphasise that no one should be unacceptably drunk, everyone should bring enough water and “behave worthy of the occasion” at matches.
Source: Telex, HVG, Deutsche Welle, 444