Euro 2020: UEFA declines request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors

The entire outdoor area and the roof of the Allianz Arena can be illuminated in different colors

UEFA declined a request to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors ahead of Germany’s match against Hungary on Wednesday.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter made the request to protest a new law in Hungary that bans the sharing of any content deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change to those under 18.

UEFA said it rejected the request due to the “political context”.

Instead, he proposed alternative dates for the stadium lighting.

In a statement, the governing body of European football said: “UEFA understands that the intention is also to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion – a cause that UEFA has supported for many years – by partnering with European clubs, national teams and their players, launching campaigns and numerous activities across Europe to promote the ethic that football should be open to all.

“And therefore, UEFA has proposed alternative dates for the illumination which better correspond to existing events.

“Racism, homophobia, sexism and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems facing football today. Discriminatory behavior marred both matches themselves. themselves and, outside of stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love. “

German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be allowed to wear his rainbow captain’s armband during the match.

UEFA has offered Munich to light up the stadium in rainbow colors on June 28 – Christopher Street Liberation Day – or between July 3 and 9, which is Christopher Street Day week in Munich.

Christopher Street Day is an annual LGBTQ + celebration held annually in cities across Germany and Switzerland, in memory of the Stonewall Riots in New York City of 1969. It is the Proud Country counterpart.

On Monday, the German Football Association (DFB) said it would also prefer such an event to take place on a date other than Wednesday.

Last week, Hungary passed a law banning LGBT literature for minors, including educational materials and advertisements deemed to promote gay rights.

The Hungarian government does not recognize same-sex marriage and has a law restricting same-sex adoption.

Peter Szijjarto, the country’s foreign minister, who had previously said “mixing politics and sport” was “harmful and dangerous”, welcomed UEFA’s decision.

“The UEFA management made the right decision by not participating in a political provocation against Hungary,” he told AFP.

“Thank goodness common sense remains among the leaders of European football.”

UEFA’s decision comes days after the launch of an investigation into “Potentially discriminatory incidents” in Hungary’s matches against Portugal and France.

In their opener against Portugal at Puskas Arena in Budapest, anti-gay banners were displayed by supporters.

On Saturday, before the France game, supporters marched on the ground with a banner telling players to stop kneeling in protest against racism.

Germany host Hungary in their final Group F game on Wednesday (8 p.m. BST).

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