In a flurry of news this morning, UEFA announced their ruling regarding an investigation into Germany’s Manuel Neuer’s rainbow colored armband.
In a letter shared with the Deutscher Fußball-Bund, UEFA has ruled that Neuer’s colored armband was not in violation of their strict apolitical policies which prohibit the display of political messages during international matches and tournaments, as seen in the tweet below.
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
In a letter, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a 'good cause.' #EURO2020 #GER pic.twitter.com/HFiAAQ6F5D
During the same flurry of news, UEFA also announced an investigation into potential anti-LGTBQ+ banners that were unveiled in Pukas Arena during Hungary’s previous match vs France. The current sentiment is these banners were unveiled as a direct response to Hungary’s parliament recent near-unanimous passing of an anti-LGTBQ+ law praised by their heavily conservative Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán.
According to UEFA, social media imagines have been circulating showing banners unveiled by Hungary fans with “anti-LMBTQ”, the Hungarian abbreviation for LGBTQ+, on them.
UEFA is investigating "potential discriminatory incidents" during Hungary's European Championship matches against Portugal and France at the Puskas Arena, European football's governing body said. https://t.co/X4buJVFvaj— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 20, 2021
In a potential response to both Hungary’s recent legislation and Neuer’s investigation over the rainbow armband coupled with Germany’s upcoming pivitol match against Hungary in Munich, Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter wants to light Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, the location of the match, in rainbow colors as captured by ESPN and Bundesliga’s Derek Rae, seen below.
A row brewing in Munich ahead of #GERHUN. Munich’s mayor Dieter Reiter wants UEFA to light up the Arena in rainbow colours as a way of showing solidarity with Hungary’s embattled LBGT community. Lawmakers there accused of introducing homophobic & transphobic legislation.— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) June 20, 2021
Entering Wednesday match, I can almost assure you there will be more surrounding this match than just the footballing to be done. I have generally avoided writing on more than the footballing since I’ve joined BFW, however, this is something I felt compelled to write about.
When news first broke regarding UEFA investigating Neuer, the political scientist in me understand why given UEFA’s attempted apolitical stance. However, as a fan I was glad that UEFA ruled the way they did as that’s frankly the only acceptable answer here. Frankly, I’m all for the Allianz Arena lighting up in a rainbow as it sends a clear message that we’re all humans and we need to stand together in unity.