Euro 2020, Ger vs Hun: After UEFA denied Allianz Arena’s request to light the stadium rainbow, a protester waving a rainbow flag invaded the pitch ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary on Wednesday night. Fans outside and inside carried similar banners to show their support for LGBTQ rights.
Munich’s mayor had wanted the Allianz stadium to be lit in rainbow colours for the match to protest a new law in Hungary banning school materials deemed to “promote” homosexuality and gender change and restricting the media from showing such content in programmes accessible to minors.
Euro 2020: UEFA denied the request, but that didn’t matter to the fans streaming into the stadium who carried flags in with them and to the volunteers who handed them out to those entering the stadium.
As security staff led the invader off the pitch, a number of fans waved flags in support and cheered. Many public transport workers and others around the city had flags to show their views on the issue, while a wind turbine outside the stadium was lit up in rainbow colours, as the mayor had said it would be following the UEFA ruling.
UEFA issues statement over the rainbow controversy
UEFA had issued a statement to justify their stance after a widespread backlash, which included the City of Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter labelling them “shameful”.
“Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow,” their latest statement says. “It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.
“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.
“For UEFA, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society.”