UEFA have denied Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter’s request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours in support of the LGBT community during the Germany vs Hungary match in the group stages of Euro 2020. The request was made to demonstrate a protest against a new law passed in Hungary that bans teaching of content in schools that is deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.
“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,” the football organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.
“UEFA has nevertheless proposed to the city of Munich to illuminate the stadium with the rainbow colours on either June 28 — the Christopher Street Liberation Day — or between July 3 and 9 which is the Christopher Street Day week in Munich.”
Munic Mayor Dieter Reiter said it was “shameful that UEFA forbids us to set a sign for cosmopolitanism, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the LGBTQI+ community here in Munich.” Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto had said earlier on Monday that “mixing politics and sport” was “harmful and dangerous”.
“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 Hungarian minister said. “I think, no, I can say that the leadership of UEFA made the right decision when they decided not to play along with the political provocation against Hungary.”
The Allianz Arena is the home ground of Bayern Munich Football Club. President of the club Herbert Hainer said in a statement that the club “would have liked it if the Allianz Arena could have been lit up in rainbow colors”.
Germany play Hungary in their final match of the group stages on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena (Thursday 12.30 a.m. IST).