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The Romanian First Division 2017-2018 football season has barely begun, but the newly promoted team from Sfântu Gheorghe/Sepsiszentgyörgy, Sepsi OSK, already has to endure xenophobic slurs from nationalist supporters of other teams.

When Sepsi OSK played against Dinamo București in the capital city of Romania. The game had not even started, when the supporters of the host team started shouting “Out with the Hungarians from the country!” Sadly, such incidents are not uncommon during sport matches, so much so that the referee did not even think to take any necessary measures against the chanting fans.

Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Aid Service addressed a complaint to the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD), denouncing the behaviour of Dinamo’s supporters, and asking for the football club to be fined, and they will also call upon the Romanian Football Federation to investigate the events and ensure that similar incidents will not happen in the future. Teh organisation strongly feel that such behaviour should not be tolerated under any circumstances, and certainly not in sports, which is supposed to be based on fair play and tolerance.

Moreover, as we prepare for the centennial, the Hungarian minority is especially susceptible to such discriminatory manifestations in sports. In the coming period the most important expectation towards the majority population is that it to takes into account the promises made to the minorities a hundred years ago, so that the Hungarian community and others can feel as citizens with equal equal rights.

As we wrote last week, organizers of “Windows on Europe” event prevented Hungarian street dancers from parading under the Hungarian flag in Nagyvárad. Romanian authorities often get nervous when they see Hungarian national symbols in Romania regardless of the context of the appearance of those symbols.

Source: Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Aid Service

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