UEFA Refuses To Light Munich Stadium In Rainbow Colours For Germany-Hungary Match

UEFA refuses to light Munich stadium in rainbow colours for Germany-Hungary match

Munich, Germany, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jun, 2021 ) :UEFA's decision to block plans by Munich to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for the Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match was met on Tuesday with defiance in the Bavarian city which vowed to decorate other landmarks in protest at a law passed by the Hungarian government.

"UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organisation," said European football's governing body in a statement ahead of Wednesday's match.

"Given the political context of this request -- a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament -- UEFA must refuse." Munich's mayor Dieter Reiter slammed UEFA's decision as "shameful" and announced plans to decorate other city landmarks in rainbow colours in defiance.

"I find it shameful that UEFA forbids us to send a sign for cosmopolitanism, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the people of the LGBTIQ community," he said.

He plans to put up rainbow-coloured flags at the Munich town hall and illuminate a huge wind turbine located close to the stadium, as well as the city's 291m-tall Olympic Tower.

Reiter had wanted the Allianz Arena -- owned by Bayern Munich -- in rainbow colours for the crucial Group F match to "send a visible sign of solidarity" with Hungary's LGBTIQ community.

Hungary's right-wing government last week passed a law banning the "promotion" of homosexuality to minors, outlawing any educational programmes or material in which homosexuality is mentioned.

UEFA's stance also drew criticism from Germany's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) community.

"We find it very disconcerting how UEFA deals with values that should generally be accepted in society," Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for Germany's Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), told AFP subsidiary SID.

"UEFA has not recognised the signs of the times -- and it is clear to see which side it is taking with its decision."Clement Beaune, France's openly gay minister for European affairs has also said he regretted UEFA's stance.