The Munich stadium will not be lit up in the colors of the rainbow flag for the Euro 2021 Germany-Hungary match scheduled for Wednesday 23 June. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Tuesday June 22 refused the city of Munich’s project to light up its stadium in support of the LGBT + community to protest against a discriminatory law recently passed in Hungary.
“By its statutes, UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organization”, explains the European confederation in a press release. “Given the political context of this request – a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must refuse this request”, she adds.
The European body, which says “Understand that the intention is also to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion”, however accepts the idea and proposes alternative dates for the illumination of the stadium in rainbow: “Either June 28 – Christopher Street Liberation Day [marche des fiertés locale] – or between July 3 and 9, which corresponds to the week of Christopher Street Day in Munich. “
Hungarian law deemed homophobic
On Monday, the German Football Association agreed to have the Munich stadium lit up in rainbow colors during the Euro, but not necessarily on the day of the match against Hungary. The idea came from the municipality of Munich, to send “A visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary”. Munich is adding its voice to those in Europe who condemn the policy of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which is deemed discriminatory against sexual minorities. At the initiative of Mr. Orban’s party, the Hungarian Parliament adopted on June 15 a law aimed at banning “Making available to children under the age of 18 content which shows or encourages sexuality in itself, gender change or homosexuality”.
Organizer of Euro 2021, UEFA has also ensured that it has long campaigned for diversity and equality in football. “Racism, homophobia, sexism and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies, she says, and represent one of the biggest problems facing the game today. “Discriminatory behavior has marred both matches and, outside of stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love”, says the body, which announced on Sunday the opening of a disciplinary investigation into a homophobic banner deployed in Budapest during Hungary-Portugal (0-3) last week.
In addition, the German Federation confirmed on Monday that UEFA had given the green light to the wearing of a rainbow-colored captain’s armband by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The European body said it saw no reason to sanction Germany, “Considering that this gesture promotes a good cause”. Neuer wears this armband “As a sign of the adhesion of the whole Mannschaft to the values of diversity, openness, tolerance, against hatred and discrimination”, said the spokesman for the Mannschaft.