Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter says UEFA's block on illuminating the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours is "shameful".
On Tuesday morning, UEFA responded to a request from several Bavarian politicians - Reiter included - to light the stadium in Pride colours for the Euro 2020 meeting of Germany and Hungary.
They wanted to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Hungary, who have been hit by the introduction of several anti-LGBTQ laws under Prime Mister Viktor Orban.
Among them, non-heterosexual lifestyles are prohibited from being included in literature and general media aimed at under-18s.
In a statement, UEFA spurned Reiter's request, saying, "UEFA, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation.
Do it Munich. Do it. Light it up for the world to see. @UEFA https://t.co/WotPwqNlKb
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) June 22, 2021
"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.
"UEFA has nevertheless proposed to the city of Munich to illuminate the stadium with the rainbow colours on either 28 June — the Christopher Street Liberation Day — or between 3 and 9 July which is the Christopher Street Day week in Munich."
Munich's Allianz Stadium hosts its final Euro 2020 game on July 2, and will not be in use on June 28.
"I find it shameful that UEFA forbids us to send a signal of tolerance, respect and solidarity with the many people in the LGBTIQ community", Reiter responded on Tuesday.
The mayor plans to light the giant wind turbine close to the stadium in rainbow colours, while also decking Munich city hall in Pride colours.
UEFA's decision has understandably drawn criticism from the wider football community.
Many - like BBC's Gary Lineker - have told Munich authorities to ignore UEFA's weak ruling, saying, "Do it Munich. Do it. Light it up for the world to see."
Meanwhile, several German cities like Frankfurt, Berlin and Cologne say they will illuminate their stadiums in the Pride colours.
German senator for Economic Affairs, Ramona Pop said, "You are always happy to be celebrated for actions against homophobia and racism, but forbid a rainbow arena at Euro 2020 as a symbol of tolerance and diversity. What an indictment, UEFA"
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