Thursday June 24th 2021
Queer Association praises Goretzka heart
Vettel criticizes UEFA for rainbow ban
UEFA forbids Munich to paint the Allianz Arena in rainbow colors during the game against Hungary. Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel clearly criticizes this decision. UEFA needs to “rethink its approach”. Meanwhile, the lesbian and gay association praises a national player.
Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel has criticized UEFA for its decision not to let the EM stadium in Munich shine in rainbow colors during the game between the German national soccer team and Hungary (2-2) on Wednesday. “Some institutions have to rethink their approach to preventing such messages. I did not understand that,” said the former world champion in Spielberg, Austria, and added at a media round: “I think if you say that it is a political message, it is the wrong way.”
Vettel himself wore a rainbow flag instead of the German flag on his helmet at the Istanbul Grand Prix last November to set an example for sexual and ethnic diversity, cohesion and tolerance and against discrimination. At the bottom of the helmet there were images of a multitude of people, all of different skin colors and facets. At the top of the hood was written: “together as one”.
This week, the European Football Union rejected an application from Munich’s Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter to light up the arena in rainbow colors in the DFB-Elf’s final group game against Hungary. She justified this with the fact that the application was politically motivated.
The background to the debate is a law recently approved by the Hungarian Parliament that restricts young people’s rights to information about homosexuality and transsexuality. The rainbow flag stands as a symbol for the acceptance and equality of people who do not identify with the traditional role model of men and women or other norms relating to gender and sexuality.
The Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD) has meanwhile praised the cheers of national soccer player Leon Goretzka after his goal against Hungary. “That was an absolutely strong and correct sign,” said Axel Hochrein, member of the LSVD federal board. It was a “moving signal”, said Hochrein, who himself was in the EM stadium in Munich. “In the celebrations and all the excitement, someone found the right signal, namely: love is always above hate.”
Goretzka had celebrated his goal for the 2-2 final score, which brought the German team to the European Championship round of 16 on Wednesday evening, with a special gesture. He formed a heart with both hands and pointed it in the direction of the Hungarian fan block. After the game, the 26-year-old midfielder of the record champions FC Bayern Munich tweeted the cheering photo with the words “Spread Love” and a rainbow flag emoji.