In the halls of Brussels, Hungary’s far-right government is increasingly at odds with the European Union. But on the soccer field, Hungary is hosting some of the most important matches of the European Championship. It’s the latest example of geopolitics colliding with the global sports industry in a way that some activists argue is becoming unsustainable.

Hungary faces a backlash over discrimination

In Budapest, one of the host cities of this year’s Euros, two flashpoints have emerged on and off the pitch.

Earlier this month Hungarian fans booed members of the Irish football team who took a knee to symbolically support racial equality. Prime minister Viktor Orban blamed the Irish players for “provoking” local fans. Some Hungarian fans also protested athletes taking a knee before a game against France this weekend. (Soccer’s European governing body, UEFA, is investigating “potential discriminatory” actions by fans.)


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