UEFA have been accused of “staggering failure” after insisting they DO support the LGBTIQ+ rainbow despite banning it from being used tonight.
Euro bosses refused to give permission for the rainbow colours to light up Bayern Munich's home ahead of Germany’s final group game with Hungary.
Munich mayor Dieter Reiter had approved the gesture as a rebuke to the vote in the Hungarian parliament which banned content promoting homosexuality and/or gender change to Under-18s.
UEFA said that was a “political” gesture and therefore banned, despite having previously agreed Germany skipper Manuel Neuer COULD wear a rainbow armband because it was “not political”.
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The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation were part of the LGBTIQ+ groups that have since written to president Aleksander Ceferin.
In the letter, it was hoped UEFA would “accept their misstep and reverse their decision” and “to clarify their actions in response to the homophobic behaviours we've seen in some matches.”
But this afternoon's widely-derided response has been rightly slammed by Hugh Torrance, Co-President of the EGLSF.
To claim to have respect for the rainbow colours without addressing any of the issues which gave rise to the letter to them in the first place is a staggering failure
He told SunSport: “UEFA's response has not lived up to any of the outcomes we sought, and it has failed in any meaningful way to address the fundamental issues that we have raised with them.
“To claim to have respect for the rainbow colours without addressing any of the issues which gave rise to the letter to them in the first place, without naming homophobia, and without being able to mention LGBTIQ+ people directly, is a staggering failure.
“If you are going to say that you support LGBTIQ+ people, you need to be able to oppose anti-LGBTIQ+ laws and you need to not prevent actions which oppose oppressive behaviours and actions against us.
“We strongly urge UEFA to recognise their power and reconsider their position on this, and to work in partnership with the communities they purport to support.”
SunSport previously reported that German clubs are lighting their stadiums up in rainbow colours in response to UEFA's handling of tonight's game.
And Torrance added: “The '46:1 in favour of the rainbow' response from football clubs in Germany is a show of leadership that is uplifting and powerful and is unequivocal in its support.
“To see the level of support from players, officials and fans across the football world and beyond is inspiring and is the most heartening thing about this whole incident.
It's notable how out of step UEFA as the Governing Body are with public support and opinion on this
“Since sending our letter yesterday evening, we have been inundated with further support from many other groups operating in UEFA member states, and from many in Hungary in particular.
“It's notable how out of step UEFA as the Governing Body are with public support and opinion on this.”
Wembley is the host of this year's final but Torrance claimed that UEFA would prove their failings if they approved rainbow colours for that game after blocking German requests.
He told SunSport: “We would of course welcome Wembley being lit up with rainbow colours, and other clear visibility and unequivocal support that they can bring to this issue.
“But UEFA support for lighting up Wembley whilst doubling down on their opposition to lighting up the Allianz Arena, would further highlight their inability to stand up strongly when it counts.”
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