Uefa defend ‘shameful’ decision to deny rainbow lighting for Germany vs Hungary Euros game

·1-min read
 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

Uefa has moved to defend its decision to reject a request to illuminate Munich’s Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for tonight’s Germany vs Hungary match.

Germany host Hungary in a Euro 2020 match amid reports of anti-LGBT+ banners being displayed in Budapest earlier in the tournament, while the country last week passed a law banning the display and promotion of homosexuality to under-18s.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter, with the backing of Bavaria premier Markus Soder, called on European football’s governing body to allow “a widely visible signal for our common understanding of values” and to “work emphatically and visibly for tolerance and equality”. The request was denied in what Reiter described as a “shameful” decision.

Uefa state the reason was that it was political, and made in response to legislation in Hungary.

Uefa's Twitter avatar was altered to rainbow colours, and it released a statement which read: "Today, Uefa is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow.

"It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in - a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.

"Some people have interpreted Uefa's decision to turn down the city of Munich's request to illuminate the Munich stadium in rainbow colours for a Euro 2020 match as 'political'. On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team's presence in the stadium for this evening's match with Germany.

"For Uefa, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society."

Munich plan instead to illuminate other city landmarks with rainbow colours.

Additional reporting by Press Associaton.

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