So somewhere between 1,500 and 6,000 (depending on sources) of football fans and/or hooligans (depending on sources) turned up on Sunday to protest against MLSZ and its fan card policy outside the Hungarian Parliament building. The numbers are somewhat disappointing and it would suggest that there is still a divide between flare waving ultra (Gyongyi) and standard football fan (me). Unless the organisers of such protests can bridge the gap and persuade the 19,089 other fans (over 40% of who saw Debrecen-Fradi) who attended top flight games over the weekend to join their protest then it is likely to fall on deaf ears. These protestors can easily be vilified as exactly the type of people that MLSZ want to keep out of the stadium especially when one of the speakers states that “the next rally may not be so peaceful”. Violence threatened or otherwise does not help the cause, central to which is the argument that football fans are not criminals. Also would you want to meet these guys down a dark alley?
I continue to support the protestors and also want to see the end of the ridiculous fan card system, but at the moment we seem no closer.
The protest was overshadowed by the Hungarian government’s announced of a plan to introduce an internet tax and the corresponding protest. This led to some ten to twenty thousand demonstrators march across Budapest before descending on the ruling party HQ where windows and doors were smashed. Initial media reports blamed drunk football hooligans although it subsequently turned out that such reports were totally unsubstantiated. I guess mainstream media as well as the MLSZ, police etc. need their prejudice about football fans changed.