The Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) has transferred the total gate receipts – amounting to more than €30,000 – from the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier between Hungary and San Marino to communities badly affected by the toxic sludge spill in the west of the country in early October.
MLSZ officials had decided before Hungary's Group E match on 8 October to donate the money raised to the municipalities of Kolontar and Devecser, where the effects of the torrent of red sludge were particularly harshly felt. Supporters attending the qualifying game in Budapest were made aware of the plan, and their contributions to the fund represented an act of solidarity from the entire Hungarian football family.
A state of emergency had to be declared in three western counties after a dam holding back a reservoir of toxic material from an alumina plant burst its banks. The sludge caused widespread damage, directly affecting thousands of local people, many of whom were evacuated from their homes. The village of Kolontar and the town of Devecser were hit especially hard by the disaster.
The fundraising effort complemented a successful evening on the pitch for Hungary, as Sándor Egervári's side won 8-0 against San Marino at the Ferenc Puskás Stadium. The national team then beat Finland four days later in Helsinki to climb to second place in Group E.
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