The Hungarian government will continue to support sports infrastructure projects in Transylvania, including Szekler Land, Péter Szijjártó, Hungary’s minister of foreign affairs and trade, said on Thursday after talks with Károly Eduárd Novák, Romania’s minister of sports.
“Sports is a tool to preserve and consolidate national identity and pride,” Szijjártó told a joint press conference in Budapest. So far the government has provided 30 billion forints (EUR 83m) of support for sports projects in the region inhabited by many ethnic Hungarians, including the construction of a soccer stadium for Sepsi OSK in Sfântu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy) and an ice hockey rink in Sângeorgiu de Mureș (Marosszentgyörgy), he noted. Similar large-scale plans are in place this year to support the construction of Partium Soccer Academy in Satu Mare (Szatmárnémeti) and a boarding school for the Szekler Land’s Ice Hockey Academy in Cârța (Csíkkarcfalva), Szijjártó said. Stressing the need for reforms in Romanian sports, Novák said he hoped that Hungary would promote the process by sharing its best practices.