Munich stadium to be lit up in rainbow colours on June 22, 23

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Munich stadium to be lit up in rainbow colours on June 22, 23

The Munich stadium hosting Euro 2024 games will be lit up in rainbow colours on June 22 and 23 to celebrate the city's Pride weekend, tournament organizers confirmed to dpa on Wednesday.

There are no games in Munich on these two days, where the Bavarian capital is holding events to celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and wider queer community (LGBT+).

The colour of the external cover of Bayern Munich's home stadium was a major issue of contention three years ago during the European Championship in 2021 held across the continent.

European football's governing body UEFA rejected a request from the city to have the arena lit up in rainbow colours for the third group match against Hungary.

The background to the request was a protest against a law passed in Hungary which critics said restricted the rights of young people to access information on homosexuality and transsexuality.

UEFA justified the decision by saying political protests were not allowed at its events.

Munich will host six matches at this year's Euros in Germany, including the opening match this Friday between Germany and Scotland. This will be followed by three further group matches on June 17, 20 and 25 as well as a round of 16 game (July 2) and a semi-final (July 9).

Germany will again play Hungary in Stuttgart in a group game on June 19.

German Culture Minister Claudia Roth meanwhile is aghast that no current male professional footballer in Germany has felt able to make his homosexuality public. A recent campaign encouraging players to do so failed.

"We live in the age of marriage for all, the time is ripe for someone to come out, nobody would be booed today. It is long overdue. It seems that football and the Catholic Church are the last bastions of homophobia in our country," she told the magazine Bunte.

Former Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger came out after his career.

Roth also said men's football was too chauvinist.

"There are great female referees and football reporters," she said.

"I dream of a future in which quality is the deciding factor and not gender. We're still a long way from achieving that."

Germany will play Hungary in their pink kit, which was criticized by some fans on social media when it was launched but has become a "bestseller" according to manufacturer Adidas.

Julian Nagelsmann's side will wear traditional white in the tournament opener against Scotland and in the other Group A game in Frankfurt against Switzerland on June 23.


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