Bucharest derby marred by anti-Gypsy abuse19 April 2005

The National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) – the main partner of the FARE network in Romania – announced today to sanction FC Steaua Bucharest with a fine of 40 Million Lei (1100 €) following the racist abuse at the league match against FC Rapid (0:0).
In addition, Steaua stadium speaker who called the Rapid coach Razvan Lucescu a “miserable Gypsy” has been fined 550 € (20 Million Lei).

During the entire game played on 13 April 2005 in front of 25.000 spectators Steaua supporters proliferated anti-Gypsy chants and abuses against FC Rapid, a club largely supported by the Roma community in Bucharest. Among others Steaua fans chanted “We have always hated gypsies, we have always urinated on you”.
Instigation to violence and explicit hate speech against Roma came also from the stadium speaker, Gabi Safta. During half-time one of the most racist Romanian songs called “Gypsyies and UFO” was transmitted via the PA systems at the Steaua stadium.

In a statement NCCD disclosed today: “Through these actions the Roma community rights regarding the personal dignity, non-discrimination and equal treatment have been infringed”. The NCCD is also criticzing “the passive behaviour of the F.C. Steaua Bucharest representatives for not stopping these discriminatory behaviours before and during the football match”.

According to the European Roma Information Office (EIRO) Steaua president Gigi Becali, declared before the game that he would beat up the ex-owner of Rapid who is currently a member of the Romanian government, if he would dare to come to the game. EIRO spokes person Valeriu Nicolae said that Steaua president Becali would lend open support to the extreme right wing organisation “Noua Dreapta”. On their website the Roma are considered to be “a subhuman group which steal our bread, replace our traditions, mug our brothers and kill our parents”.

Valeriu Nicolae believes that ”Anti-Gypsyism in Romania and for that matter all around Europe is the acceptable European racism and accordingly largely ignored”.

”Racist incidents against Roma in stadiums are usual and receive no attention”.

EIRO reports that after the Steaua- Rapid match observer of the Romanian Football Federation Valentin Alexandru said: “The game was played in normal conditions” and there is nothing he would need to report.

Representatives of the the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) and of the European Roma Information Office attended both the FARE conference in Bratislava.