Munich wants rainbow-colored stadium for game with Hungary

Jun 19, 2021, 6:48 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2021, 12:56 pm

MUNICH (AP) — Hungary may play its final group game at the European Championship in a stadium lit up in rainbow colors.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said Sunday he was going to write to UEFA to ask for permission for Germany’s stadium to be lit up with the colors as a sign against homophobia and intolerance when the team plays Hungary on Wednesday.

“This is an important sign of tolerance and equality,” Reiter told news agency dpa.

Munich’s city council had already called for the stadium to be lit in rainbow colors for the final Euro 2020 group game to protest a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment. The law has been denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups.

“It is important for the state capital Munich to set a visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary, which is suffering from the current stricter homophobic and transphobic legislation of the Hungarian government,” the Munich council said in its application.

UEFA, as organizers of the event, will have the final say.

The Munich city council accused Hungary “of following the example of Russia’s homophobic and transphobic legislation.”

“This legislation represents a new mark in the invisibility and disenfranchisement of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) and adds to the systematic restriction of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms that have been practiced for years in Hungary,” the council said.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has already worn a captain’s armband in rainbow colors for his team’s opening group games against France and Portugal, prompting UEFA to investigate. He also wore it in the 7-1 warm-up win over Latvia before the tournament.

“UEFA looked into the armband worn by the player in question and, considering that it was promoting a good cause, i.e. diversity, the team will not face disciplinary proceedings,” the governing body of European soccer said in a statement.

The local council said Munich “is committed to diversity, tolerance and equality in sport and in society as a whole.”

But not everyone agrees.

Uwe Junge, a politician with the far right AfD party, was chastised by party leader Alice Weidel for “going too far” with a since-deleted post on Twitter in which he used a homophobic slur to describe Neuer’s rainbow armband.

The Munich stadium has been lit in rainbow colors on several occasions since the first time on the night of July 9, 2016, to celebrate Christopher Street Day.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

People celebrate Morocco's win over Spain in a World Cup match played in Qatar, in Rabat, Morocco, ...
Associated Press

‘Our pride’: Morocco keeps Africa’s hope alive in World Cup

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — For many in Africa, Morocco’s underdog performance is the best story in the World Cup so far, with the hopes of the continent soaring ahead of the match on Saturday against Portugal. Across the continent of more than 1.3 billion people, African fans are excited that Morocco has become the fourth […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, right, and Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic, left, fight for the ball during the World C...
Associated Press

Neymar ties Pelé’s all-time record with Brazil at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar moved into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals on Friday. The Brazil forward scored in the first half of extra time of his team’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Croatia. Neymar scored with a right-footed shot after getting through the defense and dribbling […]
1 day ago
International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Thomas Bach attends the opening of the Executive Bo...
Associated Press

Russia may join sports events in Asia ahead of 2024 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russia could return to some international sports events and Olympic qualifiers by competing as part of Asia rather than Europe. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach welcomed a “creative” plan Friday to allow athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to join competitions in Asia after more than nine months of […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Vinicius Junior, left, tries to score past Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic who make...
Associated Press

Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time. Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saved a penalty attempt by Rodrygo and Marquinhos later hit the post. The match had finished 1-1 after […]
1 day ago
Morocco's head coach Walid Regragui is thrown in the air at the end of the World Cup round of 16 so...
Associated Press

Morocco coach skeptical World Cup can open door to Europe

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Morocco coach Walid Regragui has guided his team to the World Cup quarterfinals — the first time an Arab nation has advanced that far in the tournament. One might think that would be enough to get him linked to a top job in Europe. Regragui isn’t so sure, sounding skeptical Friday […]
1 day ago
Buffalo Sabres' Tage Thompson, right, scores a goal against Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins...
Associated Press

Tage Thompson’s 5-goal outing showcases his sizeable ability

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — It was only fitting Tage Thompson got to celebrate the NHL’s most productive goal-scoring outing of the season with Don Granato, who was busy pulling one puck after another out of his pockets before the Sabres coach stopped at five in the visitor’s locker room in Columbus. If not for the […]
1 day ago
Munich wants rainbow-colored stadium for game with Hungary