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

UPDATE: UEFA refuses to light Munich stadium in rainbow colours for Germany-Hungary match
Munich's Allianz Arena lit up in rainbow colours in 2016 for Christopher Street Day. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Tobias Hase
Munich's mayor hit back at UEFA's refusal to allow the Allianz Arena to be lit in rainbow colours for Wednesday's Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match, saying they will decorate other key landmarks instead.

“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,” said Munich mayor Dieter Reiter on Tuesday.

He said he planned to put up rainbow-coloured flags at the Munich town hall and illuminate a huge wind turbine located close to the stadium and other locations to protest at a controversial law passed by the Hungarian government last week.

Earlier on Tuesday, UEFA rejected plans by the city of Munich to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for the match.

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

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“Given the political context of this request – a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must refuse.”

Mayor of Munich – Reiter – had wanted the stadium in rainbow colours for the crucial Group F match to “send a visible sign of solidarity” with Hungary’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

In response to UEFA’s decision, stadiums across Germany said they would show rainbow flags during the game. 

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.

On Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto claimed that plans to light the Munich stadium in rainbow colours was “harmful and dangerous”.

While UEFA have rejected the request for the day of the match, it suggested alternative dates for June 28th, which is Christopher Street Liberation Day, or from July 3rd-9th, the week of gay pride in Munich.

The last European Championship match in Munich takes place on July 2nd.

Tensions are running high on and off the pitch.

Hungary need a win to have a chance of reaching the last 16, while hosts Germany know just a draw would secure a spot in the knockout phase.

READ ALSO: British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020


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