A number of European politicians have intervened in the dispute between UEFA and the municipality of Munich over whether the city’s stadium should be illuminated in the colours of the rainbow for tomorrow’s Euro 2020 match between Germany and Hungary.
The football headquarters rejected the proposal, arguing that it would be a political message in response to Hungarian law. Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and former Prime Minister of Belgium, even wrote on Facebook – „let’s shed light on fundamental rights in Europe. Victor Orban will not decide how the stadium will shine. „
It all started a few days ago when the mayor of Munich – Dieter Reiter, announced that he would write a letter to UEFA requesting that the stadium in Munich be illuminated with the seven colours of the rainbow on June 23, when the next Euro 2020match will be played. – the one between Germany and Hungary.
It is beautiful and colorful, but also with a very deep message – an example of acceptance of diversity and tolerance – so Reiter explained his intention. It received the support not only of the local authorities, but also of the Prime Minister of Bavaria – Marcus Zoeder.
The idea was actually provoked by Hungary, where a law was passed a week ago banning the „promotion“ of homosexuality among minors and gender reassignment in schools. The document stipulates stricter penalties against pedophilia and sexual assault.
Critics of the law, however, say it will „severely restrict freedom of expression and children’s rights.“ The normative act provoked protests. Budapest reacted sharply to the idea of the stadium in Munich.
„They want to make this public – by mixing sporting events that have nothing to do with national law, by mixing sport with politics. I find it very harmful. History shows that this is bad, and the Germans are certainly aware,“ said Peter Szijjártó, Hungary’s foreign minister.
Today, UEFA decided that the Allianz Arena in Munich could not be illuminated with the colours of the LGBT flag because the idea was politically motivated. And UEFA is a „politically and religiously neutral organisation.“ They advised the stadium to shine in colours on the day when a pride of people of different sexual orientations is traditionally held. The controversial Hungarian law turned out to be not only sports, but also with a political accent. The topic is part of the EU General Affairs Council.
„The latest decisions of the Hungarian parliament, in our opinion, are very worrying because they are clearly contrary to our European values. The approach to minorities, including sexual ones, must be given the necessary respect. There is no doubt – we must send a clear signal! „, said Michael Roth, Minister of European Affairs of Germany.
Budapest said that this is a matter of „national competence“.
„You know that the law has received almost 100% support in Parliament, and that should be respected. This is a matter of national competence, and national competence should not be challenged. And once again – my advice is – read the law and do not spread fake news,“ added Peter Szijjártó.
All this is happening against the background of a proposal by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to partially revoke the powers of the EP, and Budapest is once again entering into a bold dispute with Brussels. Who will win the sports competition between Germany and Hungary – it will become clear tomorrow.