Munich Wanted to Light Its Stadium in a Pride Rainbow. European Soccer Said No.

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BERLIN — Europe’s governing soccer body refused on Tuesday a request by Munich to illuminate its stadium in the rainbow colors of the Pride flag when Germany meets Hungary in the European soccer championship — an act proposed to protest a recent Hungarian law that critics say is being used to target the L.G.B.T. community.

The governing body, UEFA, said the political nature of the request was a violation of its rules.

“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,” the organization said in a statement. Neither team commented on the dispute.

The lighting spat is the latest example of the extent to which politics and cultural debates surrounding identity have seeped into the monthlong tournament, which was cast as a way to inject some entertainment and normalcy into societies battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting through her spokesman, instead sought to highlight the symbolism of the flag, without being drawn into the dispute.

“What does the rainbow stand for? It stands for how we want to live: with respect for one another, without discrimination of minorities who for a long time have been marginalized,” Ms. Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said. “Certainly most everyone can stand up for that.”

This month, German captain Manuel Neuer drew scrutiny from UEFA for donning a rainbow armband in honor of Pride month. On Monday, the German soccer association, the D.F.B., said in a statement that UEFA had decided to drop the review after determining that the colored stripes worn on the goalkeeper’s left arm served as “as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause.’”

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary defended his country’s fans. “If you are a guest in a country, then understand its culture. And don’t provoke the locals,” he told reporters at a news conference in Budapest on June 10. “Don’t provoke the host if you are a guest.”

Author: desi123 is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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