UEFA denies banning rainbow flags from Budapest fanzone and stadium

UEFA has denied banning rainbow flags from the Euro 2020 fanzone and stadium in Budapest.

There have been reports of supporters in the Hungarian capital for the Holland v Czech Republic last-16 clash having flags confiscated by security staff.

European governing body UEFA insists this is not because they have banned the internationally-recognised symbol of LGBT pride at venues.

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UEFA has even pointed out that it has requested that the Hungarian Football Federation allow rainbow flags to be taken into the Puskas Arena for the game.

It says flags are also welcome at fanzones too but the control for such areas is managed by “local authorities”.

A statement read: “UEFA had earlier today informed the Hungarian Football Federation that that rainbow-coloured symbols are not political and that, in line with UEFA’s Equal Game campaign, which aims at fighting against any type of discrimination, including against the LGBTQI+ community, such flags will be allowed into the stadium.

“Contrary some reports in Dutch media, UEFA would like to clarify that it has not banned any rainbow-coloured symbols from the fanzone in Budapest and that the fanzone is under the responsibility of the local authorities.

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Holland captain Georginio Wijnaldum wore a ‘One Love’ armband (Bernadet Szabo/AP/Press Association Images)

“UEFA, on the contrary, would very much welcome any such symbol into the fanzone.”

These issues come after UEFA controversially turned down a request from the mayor of Munich to have the Allianz Arena lit up in rainbow colours ahead of last Wednesday’s game between Germany and Hungary.

The proposal was made a few days after the Hungarian parliament passed a new law banning the promotion of homosexuality or gender reassignment to under-18s.

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UEFA said that whilst the rainbow symbol itself was apolitical, the request was political as it came in response to a decision taken by the Hungarian parliament. It therefore felt it had to reject the request.

Holland captain Georginio Wijnaldum, who said earlier this week he would be prepared to take players off the field if they suffer discriminatory abuse, wore a ‘One Love’ armband during the game in Hungary.

“He tweeted: “In today’s match I’ll wear a #OneLove captains armband to emphasize that we stand for inclusiveness and connection. We are against any form of exclusion and discrimination. We hope to support everyone who feels discriminated against across the world.”