‘UEFA respects the rainbow’ – European football governing body issues statement after controversy at Allianz Arena

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The organization behind Euro 2020 tried to clarify its decision to block Germany’s message of support for the LGBT + community

UEFA issued a statement insisting it “respects the rainbow” in response to controversy surrounding a proposal to light up the Allianz Arena with rainbow lighting.

Germany originally planned for the display to take place in the Group F national team’s final Euro 2020 match against Hungary on Wednesday, as a sign of unity with the LGBTQ + community.

Many club teams across the country were also due to display the rainbow theme in their own stadiums, but UEFA took the decision to block the initiative much to the fury of militant groups protesting Hungarian legislation anti-LGBT.

What was said?

UEFA explained its decision in a statement on Tuesday: “Racism, homophobia, sexism and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies and represent one of the biggest problems facing football today. hui.

“The discriminatory behavior has marred the two matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.

“However, UEFA by its statutes is a politically and religiously neutral organization. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request. “

UEFA’s latest statement

The main governing body of European football came to try to justify its position after a general reaction, in particular the mayor of the city of Munich, Dieter Reiter, calling them “shameful”.

“Today UEFA is proud to wear the colors of the rainbow,” said their latest statement. “It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their origin, creed or gender.

“Some people have interpreted UEFA’s decision to deny the city of Munich’s request to light up the Munich stadium in rainbow colors for a EURO 2020 match as ‘political’. On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the presence of the Hungarian soccer team in the stadium for tonight’s game with Germany.

“For UEFA, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our strong commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society.”

Manuel Neuer’s rainbow armband

Germany and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was also at the center of the storm at the European Championships for wearing a rainbow-striped captain’s armband.

Neuer wore the colors during the group stage to show his support for LGBTQ + groups during Pride Month, but UEFA launched an investigation after determining that the 35-year-old was voluntarily displaying a political symbol.

The DFB has since confirmed that the governing body has dropped its armband exam, and Neuer is free to put it back on when Germany faces Hungary and in the final rounds of the competition if they are successful.

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