Munich mayor Dieter Reiter said earlier this week that he would write to UEFA to ask for permission to have the stadium lit up in the colours of the Pride flag for Germany’s group game with Hungary, which kicks off tonight, in order to show solidarity with the LGBTI community.
The Hungarian government this week passed legislation by 157-1 that bans the portrayal or promotion of homosexuality or gender reassignment in schools.
A joint motion passed by the Munich council said: “It is important for the state capital of Munich to set a visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary, which is suffering from the current stricter homophobic and transphobic legislation of the Hungarian government.”
A petition calling for UEFA to accept the request from the Munich city council has reached 300,000 signatures.
UEFA, however, rejected the request, explaining Hungary’s presence in the stadium tonight as the reason behind the decision.
In a statement posted to their Twitter page, they said: “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.”
Clubs in Germany to light up stadiums in rainbow colours
Clubs across Germany will light up their own stadiums in rainbow colours whilst the Germany v Hungary match is being played.
Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Koln are amongst the clubs involved, as well as Wolfsburg, Hertha Berlin and Augsburg.
Around 11,000 rainbow flags will be distributed to fans in the Allianz Arena before tonight’s game.
A number of Germany players and staff have also spoken out in support of lighting up the stadium in rainbow colours.
Defender Mats Hummels criticised UEFA’s rejection of the request made by the Munich city council.
He said (via Daily Mirror): “For me personally, I would have enjoyed it [the stadium being lit up]. I am a supporter of messages like this to the world, full stop.
“Footballers and other sporting personalities can have a positive impact and send the right signs.”
Germany manager Joachim Low said: “I would have been happy if the stadium had been illuminated in the rainbow colours.
“They should be shown, these values. We have sent these signals in the past and we will in the future.
“The important thing is to live these values.”
Featured Image Credit: Getty