UEFA refuses to illuminate Munich stadium in rainbow colors for Germany-Hungary match



UEFA on Tuesday rejected a plan by the city of Munich to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors for the Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match in support of the LGBT community and to protest a law passed by the Hungarian government. “UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organization,” said European football’s governing body in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s match. “Given the political context of this request – a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA should refuse.”

UEFA’s stance criticized Germany’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“We find it very disappointing how UEFA deals with values ​​that should be generally accepted in society,” Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), told AFP subsidiary SID.

“UEFA has not recognized the signs of the times – and it is clear to see which side it is taking with its decision.”

The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, wanted the stadium in the colors of the rainbow for the crucial Group F match to “send a visible signal of solidarity” with Hungary’s LGBT community.

Hungary’s right-wing government last week passed a law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors, including any educational programs or content that referred to homosexuality.

On Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Sizzarto claimed that the plan to light the Munich stadium in rainbow colors was “harmful and dangerous”.

While UEFA has declined the match day request, it has suggested alternative dates for 28 June, which is Christopher Street Liberation Day, or Gay Pride Week in Munich from 3–9 July.

The last European Championship match will take place on 2 July in Munich.

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There is a lot of tension going on on and off the pitch.

Hungary need a win to reach the last 16, while hosts Germany know only a draw will ensure a place in the knockout stage.

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