So it looks like this is my last football match in Budapest. I’m making the move back to my adopted home of Bahrain next month; the second lockdown in Hungary is upon us; and all games are going back behind closed doors. There was an inevitability about this announcement, despite Vasas taking all the precautions they could to stop the spread of Covid at their matches it was never going to be enough with the spike in numbers here.Continue reading
Continuing our adventures around the grounds of Budapest, Kevin (Fitba & Foci), Mike, and I recently took a long overdue trip to the Sport Utcai Stadion, home to NBIII (Keleti) side BKV Előre SC. After several weeks of writing individual reviews, Kevin and I have decided to co-author on this one.
There’s an absurd truism over here that every Hungarian team gets a brand spanking new stadium paid for by Viktor Orban’s football obsession and its resultant funnelling of Hungarian funds. The fact that Orban’s hometown of Felcsút (population 1688) has a beautiful, wooden football cathedral with a 3800 capacity tells you everything you need to know about the endemic corruption in the Hungarian football system, but also throws the “have-nots” into sharper relief.Continue reading
I’ve been to a fair few grounds in Budapest over the last year or so, so thought I’d put this district map together. Teams in bold are in the upper leagues or have won league titles in the past.
Space-wise, I only had room for the most notable team in each district (sorry BKV Előre, it’s not you, it’s me). I couldn’t find anything of note in the central districts.
I’ve updated it with a few of the notable historical connections and associations, either from when the clubs were founded or during the communist regime, when clubs such as Honvéd and Újpest were co-opted into being army and police teams.Continue reading
Vasas were (losing) away again this Sunday, so once again we used our free day to visit another of Budapest’s storied lower league teams, this time heading north to District XIV to see BVSC Zugló.Continue reading
Going one-nil down against Siofok within a minute was probably not part of new Vasas manager Szabolcs Schindler’s pre-match plan. Going 2-0 down after 15 minutes was probably a fair indication of what managing this ragged and panicky team is going to be like for him. He’s probably a nice fella – he doesn’t deserve this.Continue reading
So despite seemingly having the Hungarian Second Division equivalent of a Man City budget and a team containing pretty much every top scorer of every tier for the last four years, Vasas had started this season with a resounding “meh”.
Well sadly, that “meh” was downgraded to a “ffs” yesterday, as the 13th District boys managed to lose 3-1 at Budaors: a town in a landlocked country that’s primarily famous for its fishmarket.Continue reading
Depressed though I am that Middlesbrough legend George Friend is leaving for the perennial mediocrity of Birmingham, I have a match to watch. We’re four games into a new campaign and before today it’d been anything but smooth sailing for big-spending Vasas. Two utterly turgid draws dented the fans’ (and my) pre-season optimism, before an unconvincing victory against Csákvár finally saw the Ironworkers get one in the win column.Continue reading
As expected, the government here in Hungary have introduced swingeing new measures to halt the spread of coronavirus, the biggest ones being a ban on entering the country from Italy, Iran, China and South Korea, and restrictions at the Austrian and Slovenian borders. Universities will hold remote classes, whilst making false statements about viral infection could result in prosecution. Employees have been asked to work from home where possible.
For life within Budapest though, it’s the ban on public events of 100 people (indoor) and 500 people (outdoor) that will have the biggest day-to-day effect for us sociable go-getter types, especially those without family here.Continue reading
A bout of sickness left me bedridden most of the weekend, so it’s was slightly groggy Englishman that headed over to the Illovszky Rudolf Stadion on Sunday to see Vasas-Győr. Győr is one of Hungary’s bigger cities and is known for its Audi-centric economy (there’s a big factory there). They’re also one of the teams nipping at Vasas’ heels for 3rd spot.
On the bus Mike and I end up talking to a 13 year old Chinese boy, who’s on the way to the game but has no idea which stop he needs to get off at. He seems to be jumping on and off the bus at random (narrowly missing the closing doors, no doubt to the ire of the ever-jolly BKK bus driver), but after hearing us discussing Vasas in English he approaches us and proceeds to demonstrate an encyclopedic knowledge of the NBii league.Continue reading
As some of you know, I also run Statues of Budapest, an Instagram account detailing the history of the city through it’s sculpture. This weekend a covered the new statue of Rudolf Illovszky, Vasas’s most successful manager. Hope you enjoy.