The governing body of European soccer rejected a bid for a stadium in Germany to display rainbow colors during a soccer match due to its allegedly political context.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) rejected the request by the city of Munich to light the Allianz Arena in colors representing the rainbow flag during a Euro 2020 matchup Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
UEFA said in a statement following the decision that it understood the intentions and message behind the proposal by the city council, but “must decline this request” due to the organization being “politically and religiously neutral,” the AP reported.
UEFA has declined a request to light up Munich’s Allianz Arena in rainbow colors for Wednesday’s Euro 2020 match between Germany and Hungary. https://t.co/vXezAiZER3
— CNN (@CNN) June 22, 2021
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter told the AP that the decision was “shameful” and criticized Germany’s soccer federation for not giving more support to the proposal, adding that he expects to raise rainbow flags over the city hall and light up a wind turbine near the arena.
UEFA agrees that the legislation by Hungary is “homophobic and transphobic” and proposed that the city of Munich illuminate the stadiums later in June and in July that “align better with existing events,” the AP reported.
Reiter publicly dismissed that counterproposal, calling it “laughable.” (RELATED: Russia’s National Soccer Team Bans Hot Women From The Locker Room)
The initiative to light the stadium up in rainbow colors is aimed at Hungary, one of the two teams playing in the matchup, after the country passed a bill that prohibited the sharing of any content with minors that portrays homosexuality or sex reassignment, the AP reported.
#UPDATE UEFA’s refusal to allow Munich to illuminate the #AllianzArena in rainbow colours for Wednesday’s Germany-Hungary #EURO2020 match in support of the LGBT community was the “right decision”, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Tuesday https://t.co/lgLqd6yioF pic.twitter.com/n0A2bLOROU
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 22, 2021
“In Hungary we have passed a law to protect Hungarian children, and now in Western Europe they are griping about it,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told the AP, arguing that some in Germany wanted to express this in an event that has “nothing to do” with passing of national laws.
“We in Munich certainly won’t let ourselves be discouraged from sending a clear signal to Hungary and the world,” Reiter said to AP.
Earlier in the tournament, an anti-oil “Greenpeace” protester parachuted into a stadium during a match between France and Germany. The demonstrator injured two people after the parachute was tangled in a cable holding a camera, sending debris into the stands.