A serious confrontation happened between Getty Images photographer Mark Thompson and a Hungarian security guard at the Hungaroring on Friday afternoon. Thompson himself shared two photos of the incident on his Twitter page, in one of which he wrote that he had been slapped by the guard, which caused his mouth to split open.
Not too friendly of a security guard
“The friendly face of F1 trackside security Hungary style! #thugs”
— Mark Thompson (@snapper_thommo) July 29, 2022
This is the caption Getty photographer Marc Thompson tweeted about what happened to him at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary, on Friday afternoon. Thompson tells the story in two pictures. The first one shows the photographer and the security guard arguing, and the second one shows Thompson’s mouth being cut open and bleeding after being slapped.
The friendly face of Hungarian trackside security pt2 the slap across the face (note cut to lip) pic.twitter.com/iLIsBhltZd
— Mark Thompson (@snapper_thommo) July 29, 2022
The post of the Getty photographer was found by vezess.hu. The car magazine wrote that the security guard is not an employee of the Hungaroring, but of a security company and it is not known why he hit the photographer. His shirt shows the logo of Valton Security.
Argument turning into assault
According to information from hvg.hu, the two men started arguing because the photographer wanted to enter a part of the pitch where he had the right to go according to his accreditation, but the sports referees working at the venue considered it unsafe. They told the security guard not to let him in.
The argument escalated into an assault, and hvg.hu understands that the photographer was the first one to lose his temper. The Hungarian news portal contacted Thompson in writing to find out how he remembers the incident, but so far they have not received a reply.
According to their information, on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the heads of the Hungarian and international safety services, the head of communications of the International Automobile Federation and the top executives of the sports industry discussed the incident, listened to the people involved and agreed on the standards of behavior in F1.
The case has been reported
Meanwhile, the case of the photographer Thompson has been reported. Balázs Szabó, a sports journalist and member of the International Association of Sports Journalists (AIPS), filed the complaint for suspected assault at a public event. In the complaint, which was also sent to 444.hu, he wrote:
“On behalf of several of my journalist colleagues, we stand in solidarity with our elderly member who has been abused and publicly express our regret that he has suffered such violence in Hungary. We would like to let him know that the Hungarian people are people who love sport and peace and cannot be identified with the violent director who assaulted him.”
“Dear Gödöllő Police Department!
I, Balázs Szabó, a member of the International Sports Journalists Association, hereby report the crime of assault at a public event against an unknown employee of Valton Security Zrt. for assaulting our colleague Mark Thompson, a world-famous British photojournalist, during the qualifying session of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday at the Hungaroring. I request that criminal proceedings be initiated and that the perpetrator be identified, located and held accountable.
On behalf of several of my journalist colleagues, we stand in solidarity with our elderly member who has been abused and publicly express our regret that he has suffered such violence in Hungary. We would like to let him know that the Hungarian people are people who love sport and peace and cannot be identified with the violent director who assaulted him.
At the same time, by filing this report, we protest against the now serial and disgraceful behavior of Valton Security, which, not for the first time, has brought our country into serious disrepute. It is regrettable that some of Valton Security’s employees are increasingly resorting to physical violence at sporting events they provide in Hungary. In many cases, some of the company’s employees have shown aggressive, patronizing behaviour, not only towards fans, but now it seems that they are not even shying away from using violence against media staff. The question arises as to whether such employees of Valton Security have any place at any sporting events in Hungary in the future!
We ask the Police to investigate this case, which is seriously damaging the image of our country, as a matter of urgency. At the same time, I ask the members of the press to report on the case.
Member of the International Federation of Sports Journalists”
Source: 444.hu, hvg.hu, vezess.hu