I am not a particularly angry person. Years of footballing failure has possibly helped to placate me. But I have an issue with MLSZ (the Hungarian FA). I have been here before, but the wound has been reopened and salt liberally applied.
I thought that the Fan Card was dead. But it lives on together with the blundering incompetency of MLSZ. So I go to Hungary – Sweden with another non-Hungarian. As it is an international match governed by FIFA, Hungary are required to make tickets available to all. (This applies to all countries including North Korea – I am fascinated by North Korea, but that is for another day) As foreigners, we buy the tickets online by entering our passport details and then we get a voucher, which we can turn into a ticket once we have been formally identified. Sounds pretty simple. Except that we were faced with enormous queues as everyone without a Fan Card tried to buy tickets at the game. (Online tickets can only be purchased with a Fan Card). We were there 20 minutes before kick off and it took 30 minutes to get to the front of the queue where…we were told we were in the wrong queue. Our queue was around the corner. Except it wasn’t a queue. Cheers, MLSZ. Nothing a small sign or notice could not have achieved.
Spent the first 20 minutes staring at old square head.
This game was only two days after the Andorra game and was being held as a farewell to Kiraly ‘Grey Pajamas’ Gabor and Juhasz ‘When are you coming back to MTK’ Roland and a couple of other guys who were from before my time but whose retirements had been tacked on to this game. I have never been a huge fan of Kiraly. He was prone to a howler a game and these quite often cost the team (Iceland, Northern Ireland…); however, he played well over 100 games for his country and that should be respected. Roland was also a stalwart for his team. Never quite having the pace to make the step up to the top tier of European football, but a good defender nonetheless.
Last time I see grey pajamas on a pitch again.
To be honest, I cannot really remember the game. It was cold and I was still seething (maybe not seething, I am not sure I have ever seethed) over the ticket collection process. Sweden had no recognized players (at least no players recognizable to me) until Seb Larsson (did he play for Arsenal? – booooo) made an appearance. Sweden were 2-0 up when we snuck off with 15 minutes left. Tonight was not about the football. It was about Kiraly, Roland and getting back to the warmth of the pub.
Previous – Urgell
Next – Timmy of Arabia