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22nd Jun 2021

Uefa rejects request for rainbow light display in protest against Hungary LGBTQ laws

Kieran Galpin

Rainbow iconography ruled as “too political”

Uefa has rejected the request for the Allianz Arena to be illuminated in rainbow colours for tomorrows Germany V Hungary game. The illumination is believed to be a response to the blatant homophobic legislation passed in Hungary.

Hungary passed legislation that would prevent LGBTQ content from being shown on kids TV, as well as in schooling systems. The law has been criticised. The law was passed by 157 votes to one and is the latest in the ruling parties assault on the LGBTQ community.

A statement from PA media reads as follows:

“Uefa has declined a request to illuminate the Euro 2020 stadium in Munich in rainbow colours for the Germany v Hungary match because it believes the gesture has a political context.

European football’s governing body said it received the request from the mayor of the German city, Dieter Reiter, on Monday.

Uefa said that the mayor’s reason for the request was a response to legislation passed in Hungary banning gay people from appearing in school educational materials or programmes for under-18s.

On that basis, Uefa said it could not grant the request and proposed alternative dates for the stadium to be lit up in rainbow colours.

“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,” a statement from Uefa read.

“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.”

This decision has also been criticised on social media, especially as UEFA also investigated german captain Manuel Neuer was investigated for wearing a rainbow armband.

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