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June 13, 2021

Ice Hockey: Ethnic incidents at Romania vs. Hungary game

By Mihai George

The incident that took place at the start of the ice hockey game that pitted Romania against Hungary, a game that took place last week in Miercurea Ciuc, may lead to the dissolution of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation (FRHG).

The Romanian players, who were mostly ethnic Hungarians, remained silent when Romania’s anthem was played at the start of the game but then sang Hungary’s anthem along with the Hungarian team.

Doina Melinte, President of the National Authority for Sports and Youth, announced that the funding of the Federation may be cut, something that would result in its dissolution. “The anthem should be something holy for the members of Romanian teams. I don’t think it’s normal that they sang the anthem of our opponents. The pictures showing FRHG President Barna Tanczos waving the flag of the Szekler Land along with the players are another serious problem. We will ask for clarifications,” Melinte stated for ‘Libertatea’ daily, being quoted by realitatea.net. The head of Romanian sports does not rule out the option of cutting the Federation’s funding unless things return to normal. “It’s an extreme measure that could be taken. We could cut their funding.”

At the end of the game, when the Romanian anthem was played again, the Romanian players remained silent once more but then sang the Szekler Land’s anthem. FRHG President Tanczos Barna, a Romanian of Hungarian ethnicity, considers the accusations baseless and underlines that Romania registered a historic win (4-1) that proves the players’ dedication.

“FRHG considers the media attacks against the members of the seniors’ team unfounded and undeserved. Our national team won the game, score 4-1. The 24 players showed total commitment and an extraordinary will to win, and the public supported them from start to finish,” Tanczos Barna stated for Mediafax. The incident came shortly after another event with ethnic implications shook the world of Romanian ice hockey. ‘ProSport’ daily published last week the case of Romanian player Florin Cosmin Marinescu, who was insulted and battered by his U16 team-mates of Hungarian ethnicity in a training camp in Miercurea Ciuc.

The Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee and the National Council for Combating Discrimination have opened investigations into this case, while the FRHG will ask for U16 players Antal Alfred, Gereb Istvan and Molnar Akos to be excluded.

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