UEFA drops review of Neuer’s rainbow armband

UEFA has dropped an investigation into Germany captain Manuel Neuer’s wearing of a rainbow armband during his side’s Euro 2020 matches, the German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed.

Neuer has worn the rainbow armband, which represents solidarity with the LGBT+ community, during June in honour of Pride Month.

The goalkeeper first wore it in a friendly against Latvia on June 7, and has continued to do so in Germany’s Euro 2020 group stage matches against France and Portugal.

UEFA was understood to be looking into whether the armband had breached its rules regarding on-field political statements, but on Sunday the DFB confirmed the investigation had been stopped.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (AP)
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Neuer’s wearing of the armband was under investigation by UEFA, according to the DFB

“UEFA have today shared with the DFB that they have stopped the review of the rainbow captain’s armband worn by
@Manuel_Neuer,” Germany’s football team said in posts on Twitter and Facebook.

“In a letter, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause.'”

Meanwhile, Germany are considering lighting up their stadium in Munich with rainbow colours for their final Group F match against Hungary on Wednesday.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said on Sunday he was going to write to UEFA to ask for permission for the Allianz Arena to be lit up with the Pride flag colours as a sign against homophobia and intolerance.

“This is an important sign of tolerance and equality,” Reiter told news agency dpa.

Munich’s city council had already called for the stadium to be lit in rainbow colours for the game to protest a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers on Tuesday that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment. The law has been denounced as anti-LGBT+ discrimination by human rights groups.

Germany could light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Wednesday's match against Hungary (AP)
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Germany could light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Wednesday’s match against Hungary

“It is important for the state capital Munich to set a visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary, which is suffering from the current stricter homophobic and transphobic legislation of the Hungarian government,” the Munich council said in its application.

UEFA, as organisers of the event, will have the final say.

Meanwhile, UEFA confirmed on Sunday that it is investigating potential discriminatory incidents that occurred during Hungary’s first two Euro 2020 games at the Puskas Arena.

Anti-discrimination in football group Fare sent a report highlighting a homophobic banner in the stands during the hosts’ defeat to Portugal in Budapest on Tuesday.

Monkey chants were also heard during Hungary’s draw with France on Saturday, with UEFA saying an ethics and disciplinary inspector has been appointed to conduct an investigation.

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