The head of German diplomacy said today that UEFA had sent the “wrong signal” by refusing to light the Munich stadium in rainbow colors, in a protest against Hungary’s policy towards sexual minorities.
“It’s true, the football field has nothing to do with politics. It is about people, about justice, about tolerance. That’s why UEFA sends the wrong signal,” said Heiko Maas via the social network Twitter.
UEFA rejected on Tuesday the city of Munich’s project to light up the stadium in the colors of the rainbow in the match between Germany and Hungary for the European football championship – scheduled for today at 21:00 – justifying that “ by its statutes (…) it is a politically and religiously neutral organization”.
The municipality chaired by Dieter Reiter wanted to illuminate the Allianz Arena with the colors of the rainbow, a symbol associated with the LGBT community (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender), to “send a signal of cosmopolitanism, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the people” of that community.
In response to UEFA’s “shameful” decision, the municipality decided to decorate several buildings in the city in the colors of the rainbow.
“In Munich, we will not allow them to stop us from sending a clear signal to Hungary and the world,” Reiter said.
For the French secretary of state for European affairs, Clément Beaune, UEFA’s refusal is itself a “political decision”, contrary to what the European football body claims.
If it were a neutral issue, he said, “it would not arouse the emotion and controversy that has been seen for 24 hours.”
“Defending equality (…) is not a political opinion”, he considered, stressing that these are “fundamental values that are part of sporting conventions, European treaties” and that UEFA regularly engages in causes such as the fight against racism.
The game between Germans and Hungarians is part of the third round of Group F, which is also part of the Portuguese national team.
Before the match, organizers of the Munich Pride March, associated with Amnesty International, plan to distribute 11,000 rainbow flags to spectators (only 14,000 stadium seats will be taken due to the covid-19).
According to Agence France-Presse, there may be some tension with Hungarian fans. The Carpathian Brigade, a far-right group from Hungary, announced on the social network Facebook that “thousands” would travel to Munich.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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