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Munich Mayor seeks rainbow-coloured stadium for Germany-Hungary Euro 2020 match

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By Euronews with AP
The Allianz Arena stadium in Munich hosts all three of Germany's group stage fixtures at UEFA Euro 2020.
The Allianz Arena stadium in Munich hosts all three of Germany's group stage fixtures at UEFA Euro 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Hassenstein, Pool
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Hungary may play its final group game at the European Championship in a stadium lit up in rainbow colours at the request of the Mayor of Munich.

Mayor Dieter Reiter confirmed on Sunday that he was going to write to UEFA to ask for permission to fill the Allianz Arena with colour on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the LGBT community.

The city council wants to take a public stand against a law passed by the Hungarian parliament on Tuesday that took all mention of gay and trans issues off the school curriculum.

People are also barred from sharing any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment with under-18s. The law has been denounced as discriminatory by human rights groups.

In its application, the council accused Hungary “of following the example of Russia’s homophobic and transphobic legislation".

It added: "This legislation represents a new mark in the invisibility and disenfranchisement of lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) and adds to the systematic restriction of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms that practised for years in Hungary.

"It is important for the state capital, Munich, to set a visible sign of solidarity with the LGBTI community in Hungary."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU is also "very concerned" about the law and is examining its legality.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wore a captain's armband in rainbow colours for his team’s opening group games against France and Portugal.

He had previously also worn the armband in the 7-1 warm-up win over Latvia before the tournament.

Matthias Schrader/AP
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wears a rainbow armband during the Group F match with Portugal on Saturday.Matthias Schrader/AP

The move prompted UEFA to investigate, but the body confirmed it had dropped the case on Sunday evening.

"UEFA looked into the armband worn by the player in question and, considering that it was promoting a good cause, i.e. diversity, the team will not face disciplinary proceedings," it said in a statement.

UEFA did however confirm that they were investigating "potential discriminatory incidents" at the two European Championship games played in Hungary. Budapest is the only Euro 2020 host city to allow full crowds for games.

The Allianz Arena stadium in Munich has been lit up in rainbow colours on several occasions, including on July 9, 2016, to celebrate Christopher Street Day - otherwise known as Berlin Pride.