Hungarian FA Will Appeal FIFA's Decision To Ban Fans From Attending WC Qualifier
The Hungarian FA (MLSZ) will appeal FIFA's decision to ban fans from attending the country's World Cup qualifying game against Romania in March "because of a racist incident last year," according to Marton Dunai of REUTERS. The punishment followed anti-Semitic chanting by fans in an August friendly against Israel, for which the Hungarian FA expressed regret, but it was "unhappy with the ruling" to play the 2014 World Cup Group D qualifier behind closed doors. In a statement the MLSZ said, "That the Hungarian national team must serve its punishment at a vital game in the most prestigious international tournament for an incident at a friendly game seems overly harsh and unfair even before receiving the precise reasoning." The MLSZ added that it wrote a letter after the August friendly to the Israeli ambassador in Hungary and the Israeli FA and FIFA to apologize, in which it "condemned the actions of a minority of fans at the game" (REUTERS, 1/9).