UEFA, European football’s governing body, has rejected an application from the Mayor of Munich to illuminate the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for tonight’s (Wednesday) final Euro 2020 Group F game between Germany and Hungary.
Mayor Dieter Rieter had wanted to “send a visible sign of solidarity” with Hungary’s LGBT community after Hungary’s government passed restrictive anti-LGBT legislation, as OutNewsGlobal reported here.
“UEFA must refuse.”
Despite deciding not to take disciplinary action against German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for wearing an unauthorised captain’s armband in rainbow colours, a UEFA spokesperson said, “UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this request, a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament, UEFA must refuse.”
UEFA is currently undertaking a disciplinary investigation into anti-gay banners which were displayed by Hungary fans during the draw with France on Saturday, and there have also been reports of racist abuse and monkey chants having been directed at Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, two of France’s black players. TV news channel France 24 has also reported that there is footage of Hungarian fans singing “Bonjour faggot French” on their way to the stadium before the match.
In their first group game against Portugal, which was held at Hungary’s home stadium in Budapest, fans can be heard on video appearing to chant “Cristiano, homosexual!” at Portuguese star Ronaldo.
The plans to illuminate the Allianz Arena drew ire from the Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto, who commented, “In Hungary we have passed a law to protect Hungarian children, and now in western Europe they are griping about it.”
He continued, “They want to express this by including politics in a sporting event, which has nothing to do with the passing of national laws.”
Following UEFA’s decision, there are now plans to hand out 11,000 rainbow flags to fans for tonight’s match.
Want to watch Hungary get hammered by Germany? Watch on BBC2 or listen on BBC Five Live. More info here.