UEFA REJECT appeal for rainbow colours to light the Allianz Arena

Munich WILL be decked in rainbow colours after ‘shameful’ UEFA decision to ban stadium light display ahead of Germany-Hungary match protesting Hungarian ‘anti-gay’ laws

  • Mayor of Munich applied to UEFA to illuminate the Allianz Arena on Wednesday
  • But this request has since been blocked by UEFA due to the ‘political context’
  • Request was a response to law passed in Hungary banning the sharing of information promoting homosexuality or non-binary gender identities in schools
  • Mayor has now vowed to deck Munich in the rainbow flag for Hungary’s visit 
  • The news comes just days after UEFA abandoned investigation into Germany captain Manuel Neuer’s LGBT armband worn in Euro 2020 matches
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Munich’s mayor has vowed to decorate the city in rainbow colours after UEFA blocked his request to illuminate the Allianz Arena with the Pride flag for Germany’s clash against Hungary in protest against their new anti-LGBT laws.

Dieter Reiter branded UEFA ‘shameful’ as he announced plans to put up rainbow flags at the city’s town hall and illuminate a huge wind turbine close to the stadium.

The mayor filed a request last week with the football governing body, saying he wanted to take a stance against new Hungarian laws banning children’s content in schools that features gay or transgender people.

But UEFA rejected the request today, saying that while it supports LGBT rights it is bound by its founding charters to remain ‘politically neutral’ and so could not give its blessing to a nakedly political act. 

That is despite the fact that UEFA has allowed players including the English national side to take a knee before their games – a political gesture adopted from America that is designed to protest racial inequality. 

UEFA have blocked the request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours on Wednesday

Dieter Reiter  (pictured) branded UEFA ‘shameful’ as he announced plans to put up rainbow flag’s at the city’s town hall and illuminate a huge wind turbine close to the stadium

A statement from UEFA read: ‘Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today.

‘Discriminatory behaviour has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.

‘However UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request.’

Hungary Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said: ‘Thank God that in the circles of European football leadership common sense still prevails and they did not play along with the political provocation. 

The mayor wanted to take a stand against a new law imposed by Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban (pictured) banning children’s content in schools that features gay or transgender people

‘UEFA made the right decision…’ 

Instead, UEFA proposed new dates to Munich to light up the Allianz Arena, on either June 28 or between June 3 and July 9.

The June 28 date is Christopher Street Liberation Day, which is an annual LGBT celebration and demonstration held in several European cities for the rights of LGBT people, and against discrimination and exclusion. 

Furthermore, the July 3-9 date represents the Christopher Street Day week which takes place in Munich.

UEFA recently abandoned an investigation into Manuel Neuer for wearing a rainbow armband

Hungary travel to Munich for their final Group F game on Wednesday night.

‘This is an important sign of tolerance and equality,’ said Munich’s mayor after the law was passed in Hungary, which has since been denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups.

Reiter acted after Munich’s city councillors called for the stadium to be illuminated following the passing of the law in Hungary.

‘The Bavarian state capital supports diversity, tolerance and genuine equality in sport and in society,’ read the motion. ‘On the occasion of the match between Germany and Hungary, the council wishes to send a visible message of solidarity to the LGBT community in Hungary, which is suffering under recent legislation passed by the Hungarian government.

‘This law represents a new nadir in the disenfranchisement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, the latest in a series of measures over the years which constitute a systematic restriction of the rule of law and basic freedoms in Hungary.’

Hungarian national team goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who plays in Germany for RB Leipzig, had expressed opposition to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government’s policies towards the LGBTQ community earlier this year.

Germany take on Hungary in their final Euro 2020 group game on Wednesday night in Munich

‘Everyone has a right to equality. Just like every child has a right to grow up in a happy family, be that family made up of however many people of whatever gender, colour or faith. I stand with rainbow families! Let us all speak up against hate, let us be more tolerant and open,’ he wrote on his Facebook page.

The latest news comes after UEFA were forced into an embarrassing climbdown on Sunday after they abandoned an investigation into Germany captain Manuel Neuer for wearing a rainbow armband in support of LGBT rights.

Neuer was facing a fine if his armband — which he wore in both group games against France and Portugal, plus a warm-up friendly against Latvia — was deemed to be in breach of UEFA’s rules on political symbols.

But just hours after UEFA opened their investigation, the German FA (DFB) tweeted: ‘UEFA have today shared with the DFB that they have stopped the review of the rainbow captain’s armband worn by Manuel Neuer.

‘In a letter, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause’.’

Meanwhile, UEFA will investigate anti-LGBT banners in the stands at Hungary’s matches with Portugal and France in Budapest. 

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