The governing body of European football acted quickly to clarify that it was not responsible for the fan zone in the Hungarian capital
UEFA has denied reports in Dutch media that it has banned Dutch fans from bringing rainbow-colored flags and symbols into the Euro 2020 fan zone in Budapest.
Dutch website Nu.nl reported that Dutch fans saw their rainbow symbols confiscated by security as they entered the fan zone ahead of Sunday’s round of 16 game against the Czech Republic.
However, the European football governing body issued a statement clarifying that it is the local authorities who are responsible for the fan zones, while reminding the Hungarian Football Association that the rainbow flags – a symbol of the LGBTQ + community – are not considered political and should be allowed into the Puskas Arena for the game.
What did UEFA say?
In a statement, UEFA said: “Contrary to some reports in the Dutch media, UEFA would like to make it clear that it has not banned any rainbow-colored symbols from the fan zone of Budapest, which is under the responsibility of the local authorities, UEFA would be very happy to see such a symbol in the fan zone.
“UEFA today informed the Hungarian Football Association that the rainbow-colored symbols are not political and in line with UEFA’s #EqualGame campaign, which fights discrimination, including understood against the LGBTQI + community, such flags will be allowed in the stadium. “
The bigger picture
UEFA was criticized earlier in the tournament for denying authorities in Munich permission to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors, so it acted quickly to make it clear that it was not was not responsible for this latest controversy.
Authorities in Munich wanted to light up the stadium ahead of Germany’s match against Hungary as a sign of support for the LGBTQ + community and to protest against the recently adopted anti-LGBT legislation in Hungary.
There were also allegations of anti-LGBT + chants and banners displayed in Budapest earlier in the tournament.
However, UEFA blocked the request because it believed it was a political message to the Hungarians, which contravenes UEFA regulations, despite the rainbow flag failing to is not a political symbol.
The move sparked anger across Germany, with several other football clubs lighting up their stadiums in rainbow colors in protest. German captain Manuel Neuer wore a rainbow-colored captain’s armband throughout the tournament, while several supporters wore rainbow colors for the game against Hungary, including a fan who invaded the pitch during the Hungarian national anthem.
Having made its position clear to the Hungarian Football Federation regarding the rainbow flags inside the stadium, it is hoped that the scenes which would have been seen in the fan zone will not happen again when the supporters enter the stadium. Puskas Arena Sunday evening.