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Bozsik Arena: A Stadium Surrounded by Controversy

Bozsik Arena: A Stadium Surrounded by Controversy

It is a well-known fact that Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban is a huge football fan, himself a former professional player at FC Felcsut, and later became an important financier of Hungarian football and his home football team, FC Felcsut, later renamed Puskas Academy after the first true football star of the world.

Under his regime, Hungary has started the construction of several stadiums - many of them surrounded by controversy, including the 3,500-seat stadium built in Felcsut, a village with just around 1,700 residents. Perhaps the most controversial of them all is the construction of Bozsik Arena, the new grounds for Budapest Honved FC.

Jozsef Bozsik

Jozsef Bozsik was a midfielder in the legendary Hungarian national team known as the Golden Team or Mighty Magyars that first used total football in the field and thus defeated everyone there was to be defeated in the early 1950s. He was best friends with legendary striker Ferenc Puskas, with whom they later became teammates as well. Bozsik became the most-capped Hungarian player with 101 caps with the National Team, a veritable football legend himself together with the Mighty Magyars remembered to this day by fans around the world.

If he would've played today, his name alone would've bent the odds at Vwin99 and beyond in his favour - he is considered to this day one of the best Hungarian players, a deep-lying playmaker with a special talent in tackling.

Bozsik Arena

The Hungarian National Sportcentre announced the plans to construct a new stadium for Budapest Honved FC back in November 2014. The construction of the Bozsik Arena was to be started in 2015 and finished by 2016 - it was meant to have 9000 seats, 900 VIP seats, and 350 skyboxes, along with a mixed zone for the press. The construction was delayed repeatedly due to unforeseen issues, so it only started in 2019. Years have passed between the first public procurement tender for the construction (in 2016) and the actual beginning of the construction, with the deadline modified several times.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Hungarian sports minister Tünde Szabo, along with Budapest Honved owner George Hemingway, announced that the stadium would be fit to host any European football match with the exception of the Champions League final.

The first controversy related to the construction was revealed by an independent investigative journalistic portal that the initial estimate for the cost of the construction is way off: the initial estimates spoke of around $17.5 million, while later, the cost crawled up to more than double, $35.5 million. And the latest controversy broke out when it was announced that the stadium will spend another $660,000 in public funds on grass growing floodlight system, growing the bill of the construction even further.

The stadium was so far only home to a test match, with its first full-blown game yet to be held… sometime this year.

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