By Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter
UEFA has declined a request to illuminate Munich’s Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for the Germany v Hungary match because it believes the gesture has a political context.
European football’s governing body said it received the request from the mayor of the German city, Dieter Reiter, on Monday.
UEFA said that the mayor’s reason for the request was a response to legislation passed in Hungary banning gay people from appearing in school educational materials or programmes for under-18s.
On that basis, UEFA said it could not grant the request and proposed alternative dates for the stadium to be lit up in rainbow colours.
“Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today,” a statement from UEFA read.
“Discriminatory behaviour has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.
“However UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. 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.”