August 4, 2021

UEFA could block Germany from illuminating Allianz Arena with rainbow lighting, says DFB spokesman

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The governing body has indicated it will enforce rules on “uniform stadium design” during Euro 2020

UEFA opposes Germany’s plan of illuminating the outside of Allianz Arena with rainbow lighting on Wednesday for the game against Hungary, a DFB spokesman has said, meaning Die Mannschaft might not be able to show support for the LGBT+ community.

There have been allegations of anti-LGBT+ banners being displayed in Budapest earlier in Euro 2020, and Hungary has just passed legislation banning schools from disseminating content deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.

Despite local support in Germany for showing solidarity towards LGBT+ people, UEFA intends to enforce a “uniform stadium design” policy to prohibit rainbow lighting.

What has been said?

“UEFA specifies a uniform stadium design,” said DFB spokesman Jens Grittner to Bild. “And there are good reasons to live this uniform stadium design. Maybe you don’t necessarily have to fix the lights on Wednesday matchday.”

Rather than shine rainbow lights at Allianz Arena on matchday, Germany may be forced to do so on June 28 when no competition is scheduled.

But the goverment in Munich has considered flying rainbow flags elsewhere in the city regardless of UEFA’s final stadium decision.

German midfielder Leon Goretzka was among the many members of his national team to back the LGBT+ symbolism this week.

“It would be completely absurd if we had to apologise for it because it is absolutely clear what that stands for,” Goretzka said. “We as a football world want to counter racism and homophobia with diversity.”

Neuer controversy

The Allianz Arena situation comes just after UEFA had initially started an investigation in Manuel Neuer’s rainbow armband that he has worn at Euro 2020.

Amid pressure, the governing body relented and has dropped the probe, explaining “the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause’.”

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