The Foreign Office countered Hungary: Suddenly Heiko Maas was protecting Hertha BSC

The Foreign Office countered Hungary
Suddenly Heiko Maas protects Hertha BSC

The debate about Hertha’s dismissal of his Hungarian goalkeeping coach is drawing ever larger circles: After the Hungarian government interfered and made allusions to National Socialism, the German Foreign Ministry is now stepping into the breach.

The federal government has criticized statements by the Hungarian government regarding the release of goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry by Bundesliga club Hertha BSC. They are “in no way comprehensible,” said the spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office, Christopher Burger, in Berlin on behalf of his boss, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The Charg√© d’Affaires of the German Embassy in Budapest made this clear during a conversation in the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on Thursday. “We clearly reject the allusion to National Socialism in particular.”

The Hungarian goalkeeping coach Petry had spoken in an interview with the Hungarian government-affiliated daily “Magyar Nemzet” on the subject of immigration, among other things. He had also criticized compatriot Peter Gulacsi, national goalkeeper and goalkeeper of Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, for a club that supports gay marriage, among other things.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry had criticized Hertha BSC’s approach as an encroachment on freedom of expression: Germany and Hungary had “direct historical experience with the greatest possible terror of opinion, (…) which is why monitoring the fundamental right of free speech is our common moral duty,” it said in a statement. “Regardless of the ideological basis, the restriction of expression is unacceptable for Hungarians because it conjures up a system against which thousands of our compatriots have sacrificed their lives.”

“The great hypocrisy in terms of freedom of the press and freedom of expression is slowly collapsing: a footballer can safely say that the family is a family (note: allusion to the club’s motto for gay marriage), but he will be thrown out if he opposes the liberal mainstream takes a position on family and migration, “said Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijart√≥.