Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobia in Sport

Xenophobia in Sport Romanian football fans.

Racism in football was a frequent occurrence in Romania during the monitored period. The center of the football xenophobia for a number of years is the club “Steaua”, whose owner is the MEP of “Great Romania” Gigi Bekkali. During the matches against FC “Rapid” that has a reputation as a “Roma” team Roma-phobic slogans were shouted and during the match with a team of Hungarian-Cluj - offers to Hungarians to get out of Romania. In this case, the sports authorities did not respond to these statements and actions.

"Steaua" FC and its fans remain the main source of football xenophobia. They chanted anti-Roma slogans during matches vs Rapid FC and anti-Hungarian chants during a match with a Hungarian team. Sports authorities made no response to these incidents.

On August 5, 2014, UEFA disciplinary committee ruled to close the seven sectors of the stands in the National Arena in Bucharest during a match between the Romanian “Steaua” with FC “Aktobe”, as punishment for anti-Roma chants of Steaua fans during a previous match against the Norwegian Strømsgodset.

In September 2015, UEFA fined the Romanian Football Federation a total of €110,000 (£80,000) for rioting against Hungary and Greece. Fans in Budapest disrespected the Hungarian anthem, fired flares and got into a fight with rival fans. In the home match against Greece, they were punished for racist behavior.

In December 2020, the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was suspended due to racist accusations by the Romanian referee Sebastian Coltescu against Turkish team assistant coach Pierre Vebo, who is a native of Cameroon. The match was interrupted and continued only the next day. By decision of UEFA, the referee was disqualified until the end of the season with the obligation to complete an educational program.

Opinions are divided in Romania, with the newly elected far-right group, the AUR, defending match official Coltescu in a special press release.

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