UEFA’s statement went on to say that the rainbow is “not a political symbol”.
UEFA recently rejected Munich City Council’s bid to illuminate the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours in support of LGBTQ+ rights for Germany’s Euro 2020 match against Hungary on Wednesday.
This request was made after Hungary’s parliament voted to ban gay people from featuring in school educational materials or TV shows for those under 18 in the country. This law was passed by a vote of 157-1.
UEFA then began investigating Manuel Neuer for wearing a rainbow armband during Germany’s match with Portugal, though this investigation was quickly halted.
UEFA have since released a statement attempting to explain why the governing body refused to let the stadium be illuminated for the match against Hungary, claiming the “request was political”.
UEFA on rainbow colours
It said, after changing their social media images to the rainbow colours: “Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow. It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.
“Some people have interpreted UEFA’s decision to turn down the city of Munich’s request to illuminate the Munich stadium in a rainbow colours of a Euro 2020 match as ‘political’. On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team’s presence in the stadium for this evening’s match with Germany.”
The statement concluded: “For UEFA, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society. ”
UEFA have today shared with the DFB that they have stopped the review of the rainbow captain's armband worn by @Manuel_Neuer.
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 20, 2021
During two games in Hungary so far at Euro 2020, cameras have showed a banner displaying an anti-LGBTQ+ message, with Prime Minister Viktor Orban infamously saying gay people should “leave our children alone” back in 2020.