UEFA have rejected the request of the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, to illuminate the Allianz Arena with the colours of the rainbow for the Euro 2020 group-stage match between Germany and Hungary.
UEFA received a letter on Monday from the mayor but rejected the proposal as the request was ‘motivated by a political decision’ that had been taken by the Hungarian parliament.
Since then, UEFA have been deemed as ‘homophobic’ by oppositions and by international NGOs.
UEFA made a statement in order to explain their point of view regarding the rainbow flag.
“UEFA understand that the intention is also to send a message to promote diversity and inclusion and it has been supported for many years, joining forces with European clubs, national teams and players,” it read.
“UEFA have proposed alternative dates to put up the lighting that align better with existing events.
“UEFA are determined to play our role in positive change and believes that discrimination can only be fought in close cooperation with others.”
The footballing body were also quick to point out that in preparation for the European Championship, they launched a campaign called ‘Sign for an Equal Game,’ which encourages fans, players, clubs, national federations and other parties involved in football to fight against discrimination.
“Sign for an Equal Game is the latest instalment of the Equal Game campaign, which has been carried out for the last four seasons and which aims to create a positive and social impact under UEFA’s core value: Respect,” added UEFA.
“Its main objective is to make people aware that football is for everyone, no matter who they are, where they come from and how they play.
“Racism, homophobia, sexism and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies, and [they] represent one of the biggest problems facing football today.
“Discriminatory behaviours have clouded the games and outside of the stadiums around the sport we love.”
But UEFA state that “given the political context of this specific request – a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – we must reject this request.”