Sunday, November 28, 2021

a riot of color

The colors of the rainbow spread from building to building and from city to city, first throughout Germany and then the rest of Europe. On Wednesday evening, what could have been a solitary statement – ​​a message of love and defiance – turned into a bright and silent chorus.

That night, Germany was scheduled to host Hungary in Munich for a crucial game at this summer’s European Football Championships. City officials asked permission from the competition’s organizer UEFA to light up the stadium – the Fuball-Arena Munich, commonly known as the Allianz Arena, in the rainbow colors of the Pride flag.

On Tuesday, the request was denied.

UEFA ruled that the gesture violates the organization’s rules on presenting “political references” to football. The organization’s official lighting of the stadium in anything other than turquoise and green, it ruled, was “a message aimed at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament”—namely, a law passed this month in which The content was designed to be restricted that includes depictions of gay and transgender characters.

However, instead of downplaying the protest, UEFA’s disapproval served to illuminate it.

The protest, however, was not limited to Munich. Teams and cities in Germany and beyond took it upon themselves to show their solidarity not only with Munich, but with the purpose.

Rainbow-colored stadiums in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, in the beautiful Bavarian city of Augsburg and, further north, in the company town of Wolfsburg.

The giant cup of the Olympic Stadium in the capital Berlin is decorated with colorful lights.

In Hamburg, the city’s opera house followed suit. So, so did the elegant Gothic Town Hall that dominated the Grand Place in Brussels. Fans gathered to watch the game decorated not only in Germany’s jersey and national flags, but also in the colors of pride. Clubs across Europe showed their support digitally, with rainbows touching the social media avatars of Barcelona and Juventus.

Hungarian lawmakers, who had warned of the dangers of “mixing politics and sport”, met his wish. The Fuball-Arena Munich was glowing in UEFA’s official turquoise and green. Everywhere, the rainbow lit up the night, bright and proud, an unspoken, unshakeable indictment of what had happened in Munich, where sport and politics were allowed to mix.

Nation World News Desk
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