UEFA refuses plans to light Allianz in rainbow colours

UEFA has blocked Germany’s plans to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours ahead of their final group stage game against Hungary.

The initial proposal had been put forward after Hungarian parliament passed a law which banned ‘portrayal or promotion’ of homosexuality or gender reassignment in schools.

Germany’s plans were put forward following a proposal from the Munich city council, and were intended to: “give an important and visible sign of solidarity towards the LGBTI Community in Hungary, those who suffer under the current tightened homophobic and transphobic Hungarian government legislation.”

However, UEFA has denied the request, citing ‘political context’ as the reason for doing so.

UEFA statement

“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,” a statement released by the governing body reads.

“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 this request.”

UEFA added that it has proposed for Munich to light up the stadium either on June 28, which marks Christopher Street Liberation Day, or between July 3 and July 9, which is Christopher Street Day week in Munich. Christopher Street Liberation Day recognises the 1969 Stonewall riots and the march in New York City that took place a year later, now considered the first gay pride parade.

Neuer shows support

Germany captain, Manuel Neuer, has worn a rainbow-coloured armband in his side’s opening games, with June also marking Pride Month. UEFA opened and quickly close an investigation into Neuer’s armband.

The German national team’s Twitter account confirmed that investigation had ended, writing: “In a letter, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause.”

Featured image credit: Getty