The Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) has ruled that the Allianz Arena cannot light up in rainbow colors in support of the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQ+) community as it believes the gesture has a political context.

Germany host Hungary in a Euro 2020 match on Wednesday amid reports of anti-LGBT+ banners being displayed in Budapest earlier in the tournament, while the country last week passed a law banning the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter, with the backing of Bavaria premier Markus Soder, called on European football’s governing body to allow “a widely visible signal for our common understanding of values” and to “work emphatically and visibly for tolerance and equality”.

However, Uefa has rejected the request on the basis it was in response to the new laws in Hungary and proposed alternative dates for the stadium to be lit up in rainbow colors.

“Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies – and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today,” a statement from Uefa read.

“Discriminatory behavior has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.

“However Uefa, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organization. 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.”

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