Germany and Hungary were to go head to head in the last day of group stage matches to decide the winner of the group of death on the 24th of June (IST).
However, prior to the match, Germany made an unusual request that they light up the Allianz Arena in Munich to pride colors during the match hoisting Hungary. UEFA rejected the request for it was too political to be enacted during an international football game.
Germany had decided to light up the famous Allianz Arena because they wanted to protest Hungary’s move of passing an anti-lgbt law in their country.
UEFA clarified on Twitter although the action of lighting up the stadium was political, the rainbow symbol is not political as it portrays “inclusive” commitments.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed Munich’s proposal on Monday. “In Hungary, we have passed a law to protect Hungarian children, and now in Western Europe they are griping about it,” Szijjarto said in Luxembourg. “They want to express this by including politics in a sporting event, which has nothing to do with the passing of national laws.”
UEFA says it believes “that discrimination can only be fought in close collaboration with others.”
Although Munich could not light up Allianz Arena the way they wanted, several stadiums and monuments across the country were lighted up in the pride colors to show ‘solidarity with the LGBT groups in Hungary. Plans for other stadiums, where the tournament is not being played, to be illuminated with rainbow colours quickly gathered support on Tuesday. “If Munich is not allowed on Wednesday, then the other stadiums in the country will have to show their colors. Come now, league colleagues!” Eintracht Frankfurt board spokesman Axel Hellmann said on Twitter.
German fans waved gay flags inside the stadium during the match and one spectator went as far as coming onto the pitch raising the gay flag during Hungary’s national anthem.
Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban was supposed to come spectate the match between his country and German in the Allianz Arena but a few hours before the match begun, the visit was cancelled given the kind of situation arose in the whole of Germany.
It can be said that the Hungarian Parliament had its own reasons and motives to pass what it passed and the Germans reacted because they are too pro-human rights. However, was it justified to mentally intimidate the Hungarian players before an important match by letting a fan run-in with a flag during their national anthem? The answer could be subjective, for the Germans it was necessary and for the Hungarians, it was forcing their beliefs down their throat.