Tempest in a Teacup?

Prime Minister Orbán (looking back) sits next to his son Gáspár at the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.

Prime Minister Orbán (looking back) sits next to his son Gáspár at the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán attended the FIFA World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014 as one of the eight heads of government and state the football federation invited to the match (source in Hungarian).

Prime Minister Orbán, a renowned football enthusiast (see One Man’s Plaything), took his twenty-two-year-old son, Gáspár, to Brazil to attend the final. Gáspár sat in the VIP section next to his father, just below President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

On July 14, the opposition website 444.hu published an article entitled “Gáspár Orbán Has Become a Serious Person!” (Komoly ember lett Orbán Gáspárból!) mocking the presence of the prime minister’s son among the world leaders at the match (source in Hungarian).

On July 15, 444.hu published the following letter from Gáspár Orbán to the website requesting that it not write articles about him on the grounds that he is not a “public figure” (source in Hungarian).

Dear 444.hu Editors!

I am turning to you with the respectful and firm request that in the future, until I become a public figure or display such behavior as to suggest this intention, do not publish articles about me. I fill no role or office that would give you the right to do this, I do not perform any [public] duties; therefore I emphatically ask the dear editors to keep this request in mind.

Thank You,

Gáspár Orbán, Hungarian citizen

A 444.hu journalist who writes under the webonym anarki published the following response to Gáspár Orbán’s letter (same source as above):

Dear Gáspár Orbán!

You occupied a place in the VIP box at Maracanã Stadium during the final of the football world championship on July 13, 2014 and thereby became one of the two biggest public figures among Hungarian citizens. This public appearance was not only the most public of those among Hungarian public figures, but was a significant achievement on a global scale as well: with it you became a greater public figure than British monarch Elizabeth II, Pope Francis and even Eric Cartman of South Park. Almost four billion people watched the World Cup final—this many people saw you among the VIP guests. Moreover, it is customary to write articles not only about public figures, but about citizens as well.

Kind regards, 444 

The website also published the following photograph with the title “Gáspár O., Private Figure” listing all pictured dignitaries as “PUBLIC FIGURE” and Gáspár Orbán (right, wearing sunglasses) as “NOT PUBLIC FIGURE”: 

o-gaspar-nem-kozszereplo-2

 

Also on July 15, Fidesz European Parliament representative Tamás Deutsch, a founding member of the party and one of Prime Minister Orbán’s oldest political allies, joined the fray, publishing the following post on his Facebook site (source in Hungarian):

Picture 2

Dear anarki,

just because you were born with two index fingers (as well) and have the dexterity to tinker on the keyboard with them, this makes neither Gáspár Orbán nor the big-breasted  chick who was rooting for Costa Rica public figures just because many people could have seen them on tv.

Enough said.

Otherwise you can prattle off articles about whoever you want.

And if scumming about with the children of political officials makes your excellency’s web dick stand up, then enjoy. One more cyber pedophile on 444.

 

On July 17, the online version of the opposition weekly HVG reported that Gáspár Orbán had decided to leave the Hungarian division-one Puskás Academy FC football team on which he has played as a reserve midfielder over the past two years. Citing an anonymous source, the website said that he had quit the team composed of players from the football academy Prime Minister Orbán founded in 2007 because “He would like to be judged based on his own performance and not based on who his father is” (source in Hungarian). 

——-

The government has not indicated whether Gáspár Orbán’s trip to Brazil to attend the World Cup final entailed any public expense. A government press official announced one month before the match that Prime Minister Orbán would pay all the costs of the trip  himself (source in Hungarian). The website borsonline.hu noted that FIFA would pay the bill for the prime minister’s hotel, local-transportation and match ticket (source in Hungarian). This was before anybody knew that Orbán Gáspár would accompany his father to Rio de Janeiro.

The opposition newspaper Népszava has asked Hungary’s Counter Terrorism Center how much it spent to protect the Orbáns during their trip to Brazil for the World Cup final, but has not received a response (source in Hungarian).

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