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Hungarian FM questions EU's 'freedom of expression' after coach is sacked over homophobic and xenophobic comments

April 8, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41.2%. 2 min read.

Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs has questioned the European Union's "freedom of expression" after a Hungarian goalkeeping coach was sacked by his German club over homophobic and xenophobic comments.

(CNN)Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs has questioned the European Union's "freedom of expression" after a Hungarian goalkeeping coach was sacked by his German club over homophobic and xenophobic comments.

German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin sacked goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry on Tuesday following comments the 54-year-old made about migrants and same-sex marriage in an interview with Hungarian newspaper, Magyar Nemzet.

Petry, who had been at the club since 2015, criticized European migration policies in an interview published on April 5.

Petry made 38 appearances for Hungary as a goalkeeper between November 1988 and May 1996.

When asked whether he sympathized with conservative social policy in Europe, Petry replied: "Entirely.

Petry also criticized current Hungary and RB Leipzig goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi for his support of same-sex marriage.

Gulácsi took to Facebook in February to speak out against a law passed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government last December which effectively bans same-sex couples from adopting children.

The new law defines marriage as between a man and a woman and asserts that the "foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship.

In response, Petry said that he didn't understand Gulácsi's position.

Gulácsi is yet to respond to Petry's comments.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó questioned the sacking and the European Union's lack of action.

Szijjártó's post did not mention Petry by name but instead showed a black and white picture of him during his playing days.

Hertha said that while they "greatly appreciated" Petry's work, his comments went against the club's positions on tolerance and diversity.

He never acted in a homophobic or xenophobic way," said Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt in the club statement.

Petry said in the club statement that he regretted his comments and respected the club's decision.

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