Sat, 31 Jul 2021

UEFA has rejected a request by local politicians for Munich's soccer stadium to be lit up in rainbow colors for the upcoming Euro 2020 match between Germany and Hungary.

Munich's city council sought to illuminate the Allianz Arena in the colors during the June 23 match as a signal to promote diversity following the adoption of a new law in Hungary that bans discussions and the dissemination of information in schools deemed by authorities to promote homosexuality and gender change.

'UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organization. Given the political context of this specific request -- a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament -- UEFA must decline this request,' European soccer's governing body said in a statement on June 22.

UEFA suggested alternative dates for the gesture during the tournament.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters on June 21 that 'mixing politics and sport' was 'harmful and dangerous.'

Last week, the country's parliament passed the controversial law that critics have slammed as an attack on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has backed a strongly conservative social agenda.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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