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Funeral Ceremony for Puskás on 9 December


INDEX / Hungarian News Service
17 November 2006, 15:50

The government declared that the funeral ceremony for Ferenc Puskás, who passed away on Friday morning, would be a day for the nation to mourn. Tribute will be paid the legendary footballer on 9 December.

On Friday afternoon, government spokesperson Emese Danks revealed that the burial would mark a national day of mourning. Soon afterward, the Hungarian News Service learned that the ceremony for the deceased, former world-class football player would be on 9 December, a Saturday.

Pál Schmitt, Chairman of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, who was appointed President of the Ferenc Puskás Tribute Committee by the family, agreed with family members as well as with other members of the Tribute Committee in nominating the day for the legendary footballer's funeral ceremony.

Minister of Defence Imre Szekeres declared Colonel Ferenc Puskás the Hungarian Army's departed. The former athlete, deceased at 79, made his professional debut on the Honvéd Team and was one of the league's players until 1956.

Example to Soldiers, Too

"On the basis of his decades-long life work as an athlete and sports leader - which may serve as an example to all the Defence Ministry's soldiers as well - the Defence Ministry has initiated Ferenc Puskás's posthumous appointment to the rank of brigadier general," stated Szekeres's press release, which recalled the legendary footballer's military career.

"Ferenc Puskás officially became a soldier on 1 December 1949. He remained abroad at the time of the 1956 Revolution. After his absence, he was placed in the reserves, and on 3 September 1992, he was reinstated. At that time, he was given the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1995, he was promoted to colonel," stated the communiqué, which also stressed that "in the name of the Defence Ministry and the Hungarian Army, we share our sincere condolences over the loss of Colonel Ferenc Puskás."

Memorial Services on Friday and at the Weekend

ABudapest Honvéd, Puskás's only Hungarian club, will hold a moment of silence in Bozsik Stadium on Friday at 5 p.m. They also plan to organise a memorial tournament in the spring in honour of the football legend.
With Honvéd, Puskás played 354 games and scored 357 goals, winning five championships in the 50s.

Also on Friday, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a candlelight vigil at the headquarters of the Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) in order to commemorate one of their most outstanding players, according to the association's website. There will also be a tribute at the Puskás Memorial, and all those who wish to express their regards by laying a single flower or by lighting a votive candle may take part.

The Hungarian Football Association's Referee Committee informed the Hungarian News Service that at the weekend all championship matches in every division would begin with a moment of silence to mourn the death of Ferenc Puskás.

The referees were explicitly asked - as far as possible - to announce the moment of silence with the moderators in advance, in order to inform the fans, so they could commemorate the football legend everywhere in an appropriate manner.


Source: Index

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