A host of German Bundesliga football clubs have responded to a call made by Eintracht Frankfurt by announcing they will light up their stadia in the colours of the rainbow following UEFA’s refusal to grant permission for Munich’s Allianz Arena to do so for today’s (Wednesday’s) Euro 2020 game between Germany and Hungary.
European football’s governing body has been roundly condemned after it yesterday rejected a request from the City of Munich. Mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, had requested that the home of Bayern Munich be illuminated in rainbow colours for the match.
UEFA said that Reiter’s request was submitted in response to a “political decision” taken by the Hungarian parliament, adding that it could not accept given its status as a “politically and religiously neutral organisation”.
A new law in Hungary bans the sharing of any content that is seen to promote homosexuality and gender change to people under the age of 18. June is Pride month and Reiter’s plans to illuminate the Allianz Arena were designed to give an “important and visible sign of solidarity” towards the LGBTQ community in Hungary.
Ahead of the release of UEFA’s statement, the board spokesman for Eintracht Frankfurt called on stadiums across Germany to illuminate in rainbow colours if the Allianz Arena was not able to do so.
Axel Hellman tweeted that Eintracht’s Deutsche Bank Park would switch to rainbow colours for today’s match and urged other venues to follow suit.
This request has been heard and responded to by a number of fellow Bundesliga clubs. FC Augsburg (WWK Arena), FC Köln (RheinEnergieStadion), Hertha Berlin (Olympiastadion), Union Berlin (Stadion An der Alten Försterei) and VfL Wolfsburg (Volkswagen Arena) are among those to have stated they will light up their stadia in solidarity with the cause.
FC Köln managing director, Alexander Wehrle, said in a statement: “We welcome this idea. Köln and FC stand for diversity and tolerance. The developments in Hungary are worrying – therefore it is even more important to send a message against that.”
However, rainbow colours may yet be part of tonight’s game too. German website Kicker said the country’s umbrella organisation for Christopher Street Day (CSD), an annual European LGBTQ+ celebration and demonstration event held in various cities across Europe, along with partners such as Amnesty International, will provide fans at Allianz Arena with 11,000 rainbow flags.
Meanwhile, Munich’s Olympic Tower, from the top of which you can view Allianz Arena, will be lit up in rainbow colours.
Image: Patrick Meyer/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size