June 22, (THEWILL)- A request sent to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to have the Allianz Arena, venue of Wednesday final Euros 2020 Group F fixture between Germany and Hungary, lit up in rainbow colours, has been rejected.
The request was deemed a perfect opportunity to make a statement of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community especially during Pride Month, following the controversial news that Hungary has banned LGBTQ+ content in schools or on kids’ television across their country.
The home grounds of the Bayern Munich team will play host to Die Mannschaft’s chance to secure their passage through to the knockout rounds of this summer’s competition after losing their first match to France before trouncing defending champions, Portugal, 4-2 in their second.
UEFA declined the request on the grounds that they cannot interfere in political matters. They went further to recommended those interested in making such a statement to show their support on days when the Allianz Arena will not be hosting any Euros 2020 fixtures.
UEFA’s response began: “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.
“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 the request.
“UEFA has nevertheless proposed to the city of Munich to illuminate the stadium with rainbow colours on either 28 June – the Christopher Street Liberation Day – or between 3 and 9 July which is the Cristopher Street Day week in Munich.”
THEWILL recalls that the continental Football body had earlier launched an investigation into Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer because of a rainbow-coloured captain’s armband the keeper had on in earlier matches at the competition.
Bayern’s keeper is wearing the armband as a show of support during the Pride Month of June. UEFA opened proceedings to inquire whether the armband breached their rules regarding on-field political statements. However, the body has since confirmed that the investigation has been dropped and no charges levelled.jud