All-Budapest hockey tonight! Will there be a fan boycott of Ferencvaros????

4 Nov

Big hockey game tonight in Budapest (Pesterzsebet to be precise) with Ferencvaros at home against Ujpest.  With the season almost at its halfway point, the two Budapest teams are looking to get out of the MOL-league basement.  The top four teams will make it to the post-season tournament, with FTC and Ujpest currently sitting at sixth and seventh place.  There is still a lot of season left though and the Romanian teams in fourth and fifth place will be making their rounds in Budapest in two weeks.  Ujpest needs to make their move toward the playoffs starting with a win tonight.

The side story about tonight’s game is whether there will be any fans in the stands tonight for Ferencvaros. The story circulating throughout the city is that fans will be boycotting the Ferencvaros club due to an incident between the Ferencvaros coach and some fans after the game.  The details surrounding the event came to me through someone who heard from someone who heard from someone else, etc.  So, I preface the following as being lost slightly in translation and perhaps being modified per the “telephone” game.

So, the word on the street is that during an away loss against Novy Zamky (Slovakia), two fans that travel along side FTC asked the coach after the game in the parking lot what changes were being considered to make the team competitive.  This conversation, at least initially, wasn’t confrontational.  My understanding is the coach took the comments personally, some insults started flying, and the coach punched a woman in the face.  There was some tussling and finally some of the FTC players had to breakup the fight in the parking lot after the game.  Because of these events, and the coaches insults toward the fans, there has been talk of boycotting the remaining FTC games.

FTC’s coach remains with the team currently, which frankly surprises me.  For the arenas and games I have attended, excluding Miskolc, attendance is pretty lackluster.  A further loss of fans seems to be an issue that would have a deep effect on the league, and the continued attempts to promote hockey in Budapest.  Moreover, there has to be some thought as to why MOL or any other corporation would continue to sponsor a league where exposure to their company is dwindling.  Outside of all of these business considerations, you cannot have your manager punching people in the face.

I will be live tweeting the game this evening and also letting everyone know if anyone shows up.  Follow me on Twitter (@bourciertm) or check out my feed updates on the right side of this blog page.

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