UEFA declines German request for ‘political’ rainbow illumination on soccer stadium

UEFA rejected the Munich city council's request to have Allianz Arena illuminated in rainbow colors for Germany's Euro 2020 fixture against Hungary on Wednesday. 

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter made the request Monday as a show of support for the LGBTQ community. On June 15, Hungary passed a law barring the circulation of content in schools deemed to promote LGBTQ people and gender identity. 

UEFA said in a release that it denied the request because of the "political context" due to the proposal arriving after the Hungarian legislation passed.

This file photo from Jan. 30, 2021 shows traffic passing the Allianz Arena, which is illuminated in rainbow colors after the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Andreas Gebert via Getty Images)

The release went on to suggest illuminating the stadium in rainbow colors June 28 or between July 3 and 9 — all which are dates that revolve around Christopher Street Day, an annual European LGBTQ pride celebration.

Earlier this month, UEFA investigated whether German National Team goalie Manuel Neuer's rainbow armband violated the governing body's rules of not permitting athletes to make political statements. Neuer wore the armband in support of the LGBTQ community. 

UEFA announced Monday that Neuer would not face disciplinary action for his rainbow armband.

During Hungary's opening games against Portugal and France, both played in Budapest's Puskás Arena, photographs emerged on social media of Hungarian fans raising banners discriminating against LGBTQ people inside the arena.

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