Mass Nazi Salute at Euro 2016 Match Spurs French Police to Investigate Hungarian Fans for Antisemitism
French police are investigating a group of Hungarian soccer fans who were caught on camera performing the Nazi salute during their team’s Euro 2016 match against Iceland on Saturday, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The fans in question, believed by police to be far-Right “ultras” (soccer enthusiasts whose fanaticism about the game often erupts into violence), were wearing identical black shirts with the word “Magyarország” (Hungary) in white letters, as they made the Hitlerian gesture, en masse, in the direction of the competing team.
The incident, a police source said, “could lead to prosecutions under anti-racism laws, and legislation aimed at combating antisemitism.”
According to the Daily Mail, the Stade Velodrome, the stadium in Marseilles where the match took place, is located near a Jewish district, whose residents regularly complain of verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of antisemites.
The Hungarian fans under investigation were seen climbing over segregation walls after the match and brawling with stewards.
Riot police from the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (Republican Security Companies) and plain-clothed officers intervened to restore order, the Daily Mail reported.
This is only one of many violent incidents that have occurred since the opening of the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe on June 10, which is scheduled to continue until July 10.
England fans have been arrested for clashes on the streets of Marseille, and Russian and Ireland supporters were also caught fighting in the streets of Nice. Ukraine and Germany fans were also caught battling outside a bar in Lille last week.
As was reported by The Algemeiner on Thursday, a new survey – conducted by the Median Opinion and Market Research Institute on behalf of the watchdog group the Action and Protection Foundation — a full third of all Hungarians hold antisemitic views, a phenomenon that jibes with “general xenophobic attitudes found to be rampant in Hungarian society.”
In addition, the third largest political party in Hungary is the far-Right Jobbik, which won 20% of the parliamentary votes in the 2014 election. Jobbik, as The Algemeiner reported, is quickly growing in popularity across Hungary, and party leaders have spoken out against what they call “Zionist Israel’s efforts to dominate Hungary and the world.”