Honved fans display neo-Nazi symbols in UEFA Intertoto Cup22 July 2008

Austrian and Hungarian clubs SK Sturm Graz and Budapest Honvéd FC joined forces at their UEFA Intertoto Cup third round first-leg match last Saturday (19 July) and made a stand against racism and discrimination.

Despite the efforts of the clubs to raise anti-racism awareness, Honved supporters displayed several neo-Nazi symbols and performed Nazi salutes at the stadium in Graz.

In the second half Honved fans displayed on the fence a flag featuring a 'Wolfsangel' (Wolfs-Rod or Gibor-Rune ) and a Celtic Cross, the popular racist neo-Nazi symbol for the superiority of the “white race”. Several Honved supporters also engaged in Nazi salutes.

The 'Wolfsangel' was used by Nazis as the emblem of the Werewolf Organisation which was an undercover section of the Waffen-SS in World War II. As a result, it became a symbol of choice for neo-Nazis in Europe and the United States.

The two neo-Nazi symbols had already been displayed during the UEFA Cup tie against SV Hamburg on 16 August 2007 in Budapest.

Following the match in Graz FARE has sent a report to the UEFA control and disciplinary body and urged the football governing body to take action in order to prevent similar racist behaviour at the forthcoming second-leg match on 26 July in Budapest.

In a first reaction a Honved spokesperson denied any racist or neo-Nazi meaning of the displayed symbols, and blamed FARE for intimidating people “under the guise of anti-racist activities”.

Anti-Racist Action
Before the UEFA Intertoto Cup match messages against racism and discrimination were spread. Anti-racist activities included the wearing of United Against Racism armbands by the team captains, distribution of bilingual anti-racist flyers at the gates, flying a big United Against Racism flag, German and Hungarian anti-racist stadium announcements and screening of the “Different Colours. One Goal” video spot.

The idea for the campaign came from Sturm , and was implemented by the initiative 'FairPlay. Viele Farben. Ein Spiel' in conjunction with FARE's partner organisation in Hungary, the Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation, which recently launched a one year campaign against racism in Hungarian football.

For details on the anti-racist action, visit
http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=2/newsid=734027.html