Above: the Alliance Arena in Munich has assumed rainbow colours on a number of previous occasions
Nick Ames and Andy Hunter – The Guardian June 19, 2021
The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, will ask Uefa for permission to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Germany’s match against Hungary on Wednesday, in response to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed by the Hungarian parliament.
The new law, voted through this month, will ban the sharing of information that is considered to promote homosexuality or non-binary gender identities among under-18s. It is viewed as another step backwards for Hungary under its prime minister, Viktor Orban, and his right-wing Fidesz party. Reiter has acted after a cross-party motion by Munich city councillors called for the stadium to be illuminated in a visible stand against Orban’s position.
“The Bavarian state capital supports diversity, tolerance and genuine equality in sport and in society,” read the motion. “On the occasion of the match between Germany and Hungary, the council wishes to send a visible message of solidarity to the LGBT community in Hungary, which is suffering under recent legislation passed by the Hungarian government.
“This law represents a new nadir in the disenfranchisement of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, the latest in a series of measures over the years which constitute a systematic restriction of the rule of law and basic freedoms in Hungary.”
Reiter said the suggestion is “an important sign of tolerance and equality” and hopes to receive the go-ahead from European football’s governing body. Hungary are also in the spotlight after Uefa on Sunday opened a disciplinary investigation into “potential discriminatory incidents” that occurred in both of their Euro 2020 matches at the Puskas Arena against Portugal and France.
Homophobic banners were spotted in the crowd during Hungary’s 3-0 defeat by Portugal on Tuesday, the day the Hungarian parliament passed its draconian legislation, while a banner protesting against taking the knee was displayed in the end housing their hardcore support against France on Saturday. A Uefa ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to investigate the incidents.
The facade of the Allianz Arena – known plainly as Football Arena Munich for the tournament’s duration – has assumed rainbow colours on a number of previous occasions, most recently as part of a campaign to promote tolerance and diversity when Bayern Munich hosted Hoffenheim in January.
The match itself will be crucial for Germany and Hungary, both of whom are fighting to qualify from Group F. Hungary must win to have a chance of progression while a draw should be sufficient for Germany, who could top the group with a victory.