Ice Hockey: Romanian Minister of Sports speaks out on the “Székely Anthem” sung jointly
Romanian Minister of Sports, Eduárd Novák, shared his opinion on his Facebook page on the matter that spread fast within the sports press world in Bucharest. As we reported, at the IIHF World Championship Division 1A in Ljubljana, the majority of the Romanian players sang the national anthem of Székely Land together with the Hungarian team and their fans.
|Eduárd Novák also spoke about the matter (Photo: Miklós Szabó, archive)|
"I would like to congratulate the hockey team on qualifying for the World Championships in Ljubljana!" Eduárd Novák, a Paralympic champion cyclist, started his post. He then continued:
"We need to clarify one thing for everyone: the hockey team did not sing the ‘Székely Anthem' to replace the Romanian one at the Ice Hockey World Championships in Ljubljana.
The rules very clearly stipulate that at such events the national anthem of the winning country is sung. It is not like at football matches where the national anthems of both countries are sung at the beginning of each match.
As you know, unfortunately, the Romanian national team lost this match, so officially, according to the rules, they did not sing the Romanian national anthem.
That is, after the match, the fans began to sing the national anthem of Székely Land, and the Hungarian players of the Romanian national team joined. The national anthem of Székely Land is a value of Romania's Hungarian minority, including athletes, that is not directed against the Romanian community or Romania.
This scandal is not about the ‘Székely Anthem,' but about disrespect," the Romanian Minister of Sports concluded.
As usual, Romania's squad consisted of the Szekler hockey players from the Transylvanian clubs of the Erste Liga, supplemented by six naturalized Slovakian, Russian and Ukrainian players. The team, which was surprisingly promoted from Division 1B three years ago, lost all four of its matches in Slovenia and was eliminated from Group 1A, but Romanian newspapers that did not even report on the matches are now blaming the players for singing the “Székely Anthem.”
Translated by Vanda Orosz