German clubs plan rainbow lights displays in protest of UEFA decision
They look set to send a strong message to UEFA
A number of major football clubs across Germany have said that they will light up their stadiums in the rainbow colours during the match between Germany and Hungary on Wednesday evening, in response to UEFA rejecting a request from Munich authorities for them to do the same.
The Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, had sent a request to UEFA for Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena to be lit up in rainbow colours as it hosted the Group F game between Germany and Hungary. The move was in protest against anti-LGBT laws that the Hungarian government recently passed, banning any 'LGBTQ content' being shown in schools or on children's TV.
However, UEFA have since denied the request due to its "political nature." The governing body of European football said that it "must decline" the gesture because of its political contest, which it described as "a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament."
Allianz Arena won't be lit up in rainbow colours tomorrow. UEFA: "UEFA is a politically + religiously neutral organisation. Given political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request."
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) June 22, 2021
UEFA have received widespread condemnation for the decision, with Rieter describing the decision as "shameful."
In response to the decision, a number of Bundesliga clubs have said that they will be lighting up their stadiums during the match on Wednesday night.
Union Berlin, Hertha Berlin. Augsburg, Wolfsburg, Frankfurt and Cologne have all said that they will be lighting up their stadiums in the rainbow colours, in solidarity with the LGBT+ community.
— FC Augsburg (@FCA_World) June 22, 2021
— 1. FC Cologne (@fckoeln_en) June 22, 2021
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) June 22, 2021
Eintracht Frankfurt board spokesman, Axel Hellman, called on others to join in the gesture, tweeting: "If Munich is not permitted to do it on Wednesday, then other stadia in the country must show our colours. Come now, league colleagues! Deutsche Bank Park will be switching on the rainbow for the game."
Class move by @eintracht_eng (Eintracht Frankfurt). Senior board member Axel Hellmann explains. “If Munich is not permitted to do it on Wednesday, then other stadia in the country must show our colours. Deutsche Bank Park will be switching on the rainbow for the game.” https://t.co/cStvJ9wwCp
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) June 21, 2021
A brilliant message being sent from German football, in opposition to the embarrassing and farcical decision taken by UEFA.
Meanwhile French Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, has told reporters that he "regretted" UEFA's decision, and that French clubs would consider joining the gesture as well.
"We are also thinking about it in France with our Sports Minister to demonstrate this European attachment to our essential values during the Euro," he said.
— Présidence française du Conseil de l’UE 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@Europe2022FR) June 22, 2021