Euro 2020: Fans make pro-LGBT protest at Germany-Hungary football game

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionOne man ran onto the pitch with a rainbow flag during Hungary's national anthem

Spectators have carried out a rainbow-coloured protest at a Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 football match in Munich, in support of LGBT rights.

Uefa blocked the Allianz Arena from lighting up in rainbow colours, due to an anti-gay law passed in Hungary.

In protest, a spectator wearing a German shirt ran onto the pitch with a rainbow flag while the Hungarian anthem was played before the game.

Other fans also waved multi-coloured flags during the group stage match.

Hungarian MPs voted last week to ban the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to under-18s, as part of a law against paedophiles.

Germany and 13 other EU states have condemned the new law, prompting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to cancel a visit to Wednesday's football match, according to German media.

Outside the Munich stadium, a campaign to get as many of the 11,000 supporters as possible to wear stickers or carry flags was co-ordinated by Christopher Street Day, which organises annual LGBT parades in July across Germany.

Uefa had previously been criticised for not allowing Munich to use rainbow colours in the stadium.

But the European football body said it had to deny the request given the political context in Hungary, and because it was a "politically and religiously neutral organisation".

In its statement on Twitter, Uefa added a rainbow to its logo. But it said the rainbow was not a political symbol, "but rather a sign of [its] firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society."

Uefa accused of 'pink wash'

The Allianz stadium is illuminated aqua blue against the moody Munich sky – a colour clearly deemed uncontroversial by UEFA. But inside, there was controversy.

This is a football fixture which has taken on an added dimension – a clash of football and politics. As supporters streamed in, members of the city's LGBT community and human rights groups offered rainbow flags – in place of those colours being beamed onto walls of the stadium.

Theresa, a local artist, told us she was sending a message to Hungary's prime minster that his new law was wrong. She was pleased that a row between Munich's mayor and Uefa had gained international attention.

Christoph, Maurice and Enrico, who all play for Street Boys Munich – the city's prominent gay football team – were looking forward to the match but unimpressed by Uefa's decision to temporarily change its logo to incorporate rainbow colours.

"It's a pink-wash", said Christoph, saying the move was like a whitewash but with a cynical attempt to burnish gay-friendly credentials that was in fact a "lie".

Outcry against Uefa's decision has spread far beyond football and politics in Germany.

Stadiums in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Cologne and Wolfsburg are among a number planning to light up during the match in rainbow colours.

Ahead of the match, German clubs like Stuttgart shared images of rainbow flags in support of Germany's national team

Best of luck, @DFB_Team‼️#VfB #pride #GERHUN pic.twitter.com/lVfrjPDMTR

— VfB Stuttgart_int (@VfB_int) June 23, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Some of Germany's biggest companies, including BMW, Volkswagen, Siemens, have also posted rainbow colours on Facebook and Twitter.

Hungary's Justice Minister, Judit Varga, has rejected condemnation of the anti-LGBT law EU member states, saying it was as based on "fake news".

The law did not deprive anyone of their rights nor discriminate against any member of society, she insisted, and complained that the countries involved had not contacted Budapest to clarify its true meaning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *