UEFA has defended its decision to decline a request to illuminate the Munich Euro 2020 stadium in rainbow colours for Wednesday night’s Germany v Hungary match.
It says the request from Munich mayor Dieter Reiter was rejected because it was political, and made in response to legislation in Hungary banning the display and promotion of homosexuality to under-18s.
Reiter described UEFA’s decision as “shameful” on Tuesday and said other city landmarks would display rainbow colours instead.
UEFA’s Twitter avatar was altered to rainbow colours, and it released a statement which read: “Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow.
“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.”
No 10 was asked whether the UK Government stood with Germany and France in condemning UEFA for declining a request to illuminate the Munich Euro 2020 stadium in rainbow colours.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Well, I mean, this is a Government that’s immensely proud to lead a country that is progressive and liberal when it comes to LGBT equality. Clearly UEFA have made a decision. But this Government is proud of its record on LGBT equality.”