UEFA sponsors such as Volkswagen have been banned from using rainbow-colored advertisements on billboards in St. Petersburg and Baku.
UEFA has asked its main sponsors, including the automaker Volkswagen, not to display rainbow-colored advertising banners in the LGBTQ communities in Baku and St. Petersburg during the Euro 2020 competition, on the grounds of complying with local laws.
German car giant Volkswagen wrote in a statement: “As UEFA is concerned about the legal framework of stadiums in Russia and Azerbaijan, the association informed us that it is impossible to use rainbow-colored advertisements on billboards in St. Petersburg and Baku. “
When contacted by Agence France-Presse, a spokesperson stated that although UEFA “fully supports” the message of “tolerance and respect”, it requires sponsors to “ensure that their designs comply with local legislation, as is the case in Baku and St. Petersburg. it’s not true” .
The Gay and Lesbian Association of Germany (LSVD) expressed anger at UEFA’s position.
“UEFA’s boldness and deception are endless. Through this action, it has not only betrayed lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and intersex people in Azerbaijan and Russia, but also betrayed. All of Europe,” said spokesperson Alfonso Pantisano.
“Once again, during this European Championship, it is clear that UEFA’s protest against support for a diverse, inclusive and non-discriminatory society is hypocritical and worthless.”
Earlier in the game, in the group match between Germany and Hungary, the city of Munich hoped to light up the Allianz Arena with rainbow colors to support the LGBTQ community.
But UEFA refused the permission of the local authorities.
In the past 16 games, several European sponsors, including Volkswagen, switched to showing rainbow-colored advertisements in the stadium, although none of these games were played in Russia or Azerbaijan.
Volkswagen said it “regrets” UEFA’s recent rejection, adding that it wants to “send a clear signal of support for diversity.”
The company said that during the remaining European Championships, it will be allowed to show rainbow-colored ads in Rome and London.
Hungary’s two Euro 2020 football matches Under investigation UEFA cited “potential discrimination incidents” as an excuse.
Last month, at the opening ceremony of Hungary’s Euro 2020 match in Budapest against Portugal, pictures on social media showed banners with the words “Anti-LMBTQ”-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian in Hungarian. Abbreviation for queer (LGBTQ).
Under strong criticism from human rights organizations and opposition parties, the Hungarian Parliament passed a piece of legislation in June that prohibits the dissemination of content believed to promote homosexuality and gender change in schools.
Viktor Orban, the hard-line nationalist prime minister facing next year’s general election, has become increasingly conservative in social policy. He expressed dissatisfaction with immigrants and LGBTQ people during his self-styled unfree rule, which made Hungarians There were deep differences.