June 19th, 2017

TV report with Orbán on “bright future of Hungarian football” runs afoul of national team’s humiliating defeat

State media sports TV channel M4 chose a very unfortunate time for an interview with Viktor Orbán on the state of Hungarian football, as the prime minister’s grand statements on the “bright future’ were aired two days after the national team suffered a historic 1-0 defeat against the mini state of Andorra.

Orbán was interviewed almost a week before the interview was aired, at the Suzuki Cup, a yearly youth tournament held in his hometown Felcsút, where he had a stadium built with the capacity of 3,500, which is double the number of the small town’s inhabitants. Even though he certainly could not have foreseen the outcome of the forthcoming World Cup qualifier, the statements he made are questionable even without the disastrous result. The prime minister said for example that “things are improving in Hungarian football these days because of the youth academies. The academy system is the biggest treasure of Hungarian football these days, which has to be preserved a strengthened. We learned well how to do it over the last 10 years.”

This does not even ring true on home ground, as the Felcsút club PAFC hardly relied on any of its home-grown players as they got promoted to the first league after getting relegated in the previous season. They bought experienced players for a lot money instead, which they could easily afford as the club got HUF 103.5 million in company tax allowance, the highest among all Hungarian football clubs in 2015/16. In fact PAFC’s revenue for 2016 was ten times bigger than that of Budapest Honvéd, who won the first league this season relying much more on players who came through the ranks of their own academy.

Orbán even risked the conclusion that “by stabilizing the academy system, we can make Hungarian football world-class again”. This proved spectacularly wrong by the Andorra match, where Bernd Storck, Hungary’s German national manager, fielded a remarkably young squad, with a few players already the products of the academy system. Still they were beaten by the amateur players of Andorra, who all hold full-time civil jobs, and this was the first time they won a qualifier game in more than ten years. Storck offered his resignation on the spot to Hungarian Football Federation head Sándor Csányi. However, he was “given a second chance” in a lengthy board meeting a week after the match, with regards to his previous achievement of qualifying for Euro 2016 with the national team. The euphoria caused by the participation in the tournament is definitely in the past now though, as public sentiment is as sceptical about football as any time during the previous 30 years. [444.hu]

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  • ViktorZorroban

    People who stopped believing in Orban’s Football Abracadabra are traitors and should leave the country right away! We don’t want your pessimist kind here, you Liberal Satanist Soros Worshippers!

    • Bowen

      Orbán is 100% right about everything: football, jobs, immigrants, Brussels, etc. The reason that scum like the Andorran football team win is because they don’t listen to him.

  • Illiberal Revolution

    The opposition wants Hungary to lose and be defeated, Orbán wants Hungary to win.

    • Vidra

      The opposition wants Hungary to be successful in the sports where it really is world class (water polo, handball, swimming, fencing, etc) and invest in building winning sportspeople at grassroots level in others. Baby Orbán needs to understand that shiny stadiums and rebranding youth teams as academies isn’t enough

    • Wouter De Coster

      You are right, IR. Rumor on the street goes that it was Gyurcsany, Vona and Soros who trained the Andorra team in secret so this bunch of butcher, baker and teacher hobbyists could humiliate our amazing team of superstars.

      • Damien Dae

        I believe you forgot Brussels too… 😉

    • Bowen

      Well, Hungary isn’t winning, is it? Time to get a new PM.

    • National Hiphop

      Nay, he only wants lots of money and eternal glory for himself. You Fidesz-droids keep mixin up what is good for Hungary with what is good for da Fat Thief in the most pathetic way, Pöri boy.

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