Hungary mourns György Szepesi

Former Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) president György Szepesi – who also enjoyed an illustrious career as a sports journalist – has passed away at the age of 96.

György Szepesi was MLSZ president from 1979 to 1986
György Szepesi was MLSZ president from 1979 to 1986 ©MLSZ

The former president of the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ), György Szepesi, has passed away at the age of 96.

A distinguished sports journalist in addition to a respected football administrator, György Szepesi was at the helm of the MLSZ from 1979 to 1986, and was a European member of the FIFA Executive Committee from 1980 to 1994.

During his time as MLSZ president, Hungary qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. He was also a member of the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

Within UEFA, Szepesi served as a member of the Club Competitions Committee (1980-82), Media Committee (1992-98) and Committee for the European Championship (1994-96).

As a sports journalist, Budapest-born Szepesi began reporting for Hungarian radio in 1945, and commentated on the celebrated match at Wembley Stadium in London in 1953, when Hungary’s brilliant team of the time memorably defeated England 6-3. He became known as the ”Golden Team’s Twelfth Player”.

He covered 14 FIFA World Cups and 15 Olympic Games, and was still reporting six decades after his debut. His work brought him numerous awards, both at home and abroad.

“He embodied the style of sports coverage which saw the reporter immerse himself enthusiastically and intensely with the game,” the MLSZ wrote in paying tribute.