UEFA has offered clarification on why it viewed a request to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for the Euro 2020 fixture between Germany and Hungary as “political.”
The governing body faced a fierce backlash for rejecting the request made by Munich mayor Dieter Reiter in response to a recently-passed law in Hungary banning the sharing of content seen as promoting homosexuality and gender change to under 18s.
This followed a short-lived investigation into the rainbow-coloured captain’s armband worn by Manuel Neuer against Portugal in support of the LGBTQ+ community, with the Germany goalkeeper ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.
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A tweet shared by UEFA responded to further criticism of the governing body’s stance which has seen various football teams and players including Antoine Griezmann imply their opposition to the decision by sharing rainbow images to their social media accounts.
“Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow,” the tweet read, referencing the changing of the colours of UEFA’s badge on their Twitter account.
“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.”
Recent reports claim UEFA is considering awarding more Euro 2020 fixtures to Hungary, a country widely regarded as less democratic than many of its EU peers and is under pressure for its track record in human rights.
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