UEFA has rejected a request from the Munich City Council to illuminate its stadium in rainbow colors for the last group game of the European Championship of Germany against Hungary on Wednesday.
The governing body said in a statement on Tuesday that it understood the intention behind the proposal, but “should reject this request” because of its political context – “a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament”.
The request of the mayor of Munich Dieter Reiter on behalf of the council made it clear that he wants to protest against a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers last week, which prohibits the sharing with minors of any content depicting homosexuality or gender reassignment. The law has been denounced as discrimination against LGBT people by human rights groups.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Siyarto denied the German plan on Monday.
“In Hungary, we have passed a law on the protection of Hungarian children, and now in Western Europe they are dealing with it,” Szijjártó said in Luxembourg. “They want to express this by including politics in a sporting event that has nothing to do with the adoption of national laws.”
UEFA has said it believes that “discrimination can only be fought in close cooperation with others”, and suggested that Munich illuminate the stadium with the colors of the rainbow on June 28 for Christopher Street Day or between July 3-9 for the week of the Day. of Christopher in the city.
The Authority stated that these dates “are better aligned with existing events”.
German Football Federation spokesman Jens Grittner had already suggested on Monday that this could be an option to show colors in the days after visiting Hungary. Munich will host the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 on July 2.
But the delayed action undermined the city’s planned protest in Munich against what he called “the homophobic and transphobic legislation of the Hungarian government.”
Hungary’s National Assembly approved a bill to share LGBT content with minors by a 157-1 vote last week, when an independent lawmaker voted against and all other opposition parties boycotted the protest vote.
“This legislation is a new feature of the invisibility and disenfranchisement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) and adds to the systematic restriction of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms that have been practiced for years in Hungary,” the Munich Council said. said in his application, which had cross-party support.
UEFA said it understood the council’s intention to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion, but stressed that it was a “politically and religiously neutral organization”.
On Sunday, UEFA gave the green to German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to continue wearing the captain’s armband with the rainbow colors of the tournament.
“What does the rainbow mean?” Asked German government spokesman Steffen Seibert. “It means how we want to live: Respect for each other, without discrimination that has long excluded minorities. And certainly most people can relate. to that. “