Index claims Orbán unlawfully uses Felcsút academy sport facilities

January 3, 2017

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s boyhood home of Felcsút, a village of 1,812 people in Fejér county, has been the beneficiary of numerous major investments of public funds in recent years, most notably the “Pancho” soccer stadium built right next door to Orbán’s Felcsút home. Sources in the village claim that the prime minister often visits the stadium and other facilities of the Puskás Academy for his personal use, a violation of civil law according to index.hu.

One source told Index that Orbán often plays soccer in the stadium, receives private personal training sessions from professional trainers, uses the gym and sometimes jogs in the facility. Orbán himself recently mentioned in an interview that “if I’m lucky I go down to Felcsút in the evening and work out, but usually I’m not lucky.”

As the online daily points out, the problem is that his use of the facility is in violation of clearly defined civil codes, as only certified athletes and students of the academy are permitted to do so. When Index asked the Prime Minister’s Office about Orbán’s visits, the office replied that “as founding chairman of the Puskás Academy, Viktor Orbán takes advantage of the facilities.” However, Orbán is chairman of neither the academy’s parent organization (the Felcsúti Utánpótlás Neveléséért Alapítvány [FUNA], otherwise known as the Felcsút Academy, of which he is the founder) nor the Felcsút sports club. The chairman of both of those organizations is Hungary’s 28th-richest man  Lőrinc Mészáros, Orbán’s personal friend and suspected strawman, and mayor of Felcsút.

The civil code dictates that the founder of a foundation cannot profit from its operation, and specifically cites point 9d of FUNA’s certificate of incorporation : “The foundation cannot be created to serve the interests of the founder, the inductees, the foundation officials, members of the foundation’s organizations or anyone related to them.” When Orbán founded FUNA in 2004, he did so with an investment of HUF 150,000 (USD 500) and has not personally contributed financially since then.

The stadium was built largely with tax-deductible donations made to FUNA via the controversial TAO program launched by Orbán in 2011. Easily the single largest beneficiary of the program has been his pet project the Puskás Academy, which employs 103 full-time staff.