UEFA reject calls to light up Munich stadium in support of LGBTQ+ rights

UEFA reject calls to light up Munich stadium in support of LGBTQ+ rights

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has rejected calls to illuminate the Allianz Arena in Munich with rainbow colours during Germany’s last match of the Euros group stage against Hungary.

UEFA decide the Allianz Arena will not shine

UEFA have rejected calls to let the Allianz Arena in Munich display rainbow-coloured lights during Germany’s last group stage game against Hungary in the Euros on Wednesday. The decision was made by UEFA in response to a letter, written by Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, on behalf of the city council, asking to be allowed to illuminate the stadium to “send out a signal in terms of cosmopolitanism and tolerance” and display “a widely visible signal for our common understanding and values.”

The idea of lighting up the stadium in LGBTQ+ colours came after Hungary’s right-wing government, led by Viktor Orban, recently passed a law banning the advertising of LGBTQ+ content for minors.

However, the idea has been rejected by UEFA, due to its political nature. “According to its statutes, UEFA is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this particular motion - a message aimed at a decision by the Hungarian national parliament - UEFA must reject this motion,” UEFA said in a statement.

Support from LGBTQ+ activists in Hungary

The Hatter Society, Hungary’s largest LGBTQ+ organisation, had voiced their support for the motion, stating it would have made quite the statement to the Hungarian Prime Minister and his party. "As Orban and Fidesz have pumped endless money into football, attempting to revive it again as a source of national pride, having to walk into a stadium illuminated in rainbow colours would be quite ironic," a spokesperson for the group said.

Support has also poured in from across Germany, with representatives from German football clubs stating they would have their stadiums lit up instead. “If Munich is not allowed on Wednesday, then the other stadiums in the country will have to show their colours. Come now, colleagues in the league! Deutsche Bank Park will switch on the rainbow for the game against Hungary. The Waldstadion remains colourful!” tweeted Axel Hellmann, from Eintracht Frankfurt.

The operators of the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne have also signalled their intent to light up their stadium.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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