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Amy Blaney

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has canceled his trip to Munich for the 2020 European Championship game against Germany due to criticism of his government’s new anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Orban, who is next year is facing an election, has become more and more radical in social policy and railed against LGBT people and immigrants in his self-proclaimed illiberal regime, which has deeply divided Hungarians.

His Fidesz party, which advocates a Christian-conservative agenda, has pinned the proposal to ban school talk on LGBT issues to a separate, widely supported bill that severely punishes pedophilia, making it much harder for opponents to vote against.

Last week, the Hungarian parliament passed a new law passed that bans the representation of homosexuality in school education and television programs for anyone under the age of 18.

In protest of anti-LGBTQ laws the Munich City Council has requested that the Allianz Arena be illuminated in rainbow colors for the game, which the European Football Association (EUFA) has rejected.

The EUFA has received a backlash for its decision not to illuminate the stadium and the football committee said the stadium lighting would contradict his “politically and religiously neutral” position.

The Hungarian Prime Minister had originally planned to take part in today’s game between Germany and Hungary, but withdrew after the EUFA rejected Munich’s application.

In a statement, he said: “Whether the Munich football stadium or any other European stadium is illuminated in rainbow colors is not a state decision.”

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Football clubs in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bremen and Düsseldorf will light up their venues in rainbow colors during today’s game to “fill the gap”.

Also the national rail network and the Munich fire brigade tweeted their plans. Deutsche Bahn will paint one of its trains with rainbow stripes, while Munich’s Mayor Dieter Reiter said that instead a wind turbine in front of the Allianz Arena motorway would be illuminated in rainbow colors.

The EUFA received a backlash from fans because they opened the stadium did not illuminate, and the fans pointed out that she did not intervene when the captain of the German team, Manuel Neuer, wore a rainbow-colored armband.

The Vice President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth, said it was ” absurd ”for the EUFA to allow Mr Neurer to wear the armband and at the same time to forbid the lighting of the arena.




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