UEFA's ban on illuminating the Allianz Arena with the LGTBI flag continues: UEFA EURO in three summary points (day 11)
UEFA comes to its senses and takes no action against Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer
BarcelonaUEFA has decided not to take any action against Manuel Neuer, Germany's captain, who wore a rainbow armband in support of the LGTBI community against France and Portugal. Instead, this Tuesday the organising body of the competition has taken a further step backwards by banning the lighting of the Allianz Arena with the colours of this flag. This is the first of the 'Three Summary points' of the 11th day of the Euro.
1. UEFA's mess with Neuer's armband and the Allianz Arena
"UEFA has examined the armband worn by the player and, considering that it promoted a good cause, diversity, there will be no disciplinary proceedings against him", the body ruled after getting into trouble for opening disciplinary proceedings against Neuer to examine whether the armband contained "a political message".
The controversy does not end here, because the City of Munich wants to illuminate the Allianz Arena in the duel between Germany and Hungary with the colors of the rainbow, but the Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán is radically opposed. As reported by the German media Bild, UEFA announced a ban on Tuesday. The top European football body has argued its decision by proposing "alternative dates that are better aligned with existing events".
Although it does not specify, UEFA refers to the decision of the far-right Hungarian government, which recently approved a ban in schools of any kind of workshops, books and films that deal with sex and gender issues, such as the famous Harry Potter Saga. This ban is in addition to any kind of advertising in which homosexuals or transgender people appear as part of normality. UEFA justifies its decision to ban the illumination of the Allianz Arena with the LGTBI flag by stating that it wants to be "politically and religiously neutral".
2. Pandev, first European Championship, goal and retirement
Twenty years after his debut for Macedonia's senior national team, Goran Pandev added to his legend by scoring the Balkan side's first-ever European Championship goal as a North Macedonian. In his country's first appearance in the competition, Pandev - 37 - scored the first and only goal of the tournament in the defeat to Austria, and the Macedonians were eliminated by the Netherlands. Pandev will leave the national team and it remains to be seen whether he will also hang up his club boots. Yesterday he was given an emotional farewell on the pitch.
3. Poisoned gift of finishing top of the group
Group D will be decided today. The matchday kicks off with the Czech Republic in first place and England in second. Both teams have four points and will meet at Wembley (9 p.m.). The other match in the group is between Croatia and Scotland at the same time. The question is that finishing top of Group D could be a poisoned gift, as it means playing in the Round of 16 with the team that finishes second in Group F - where Germany currently occupies this place. On the other hand, whoever finishes second in group D will face the second in group E, with rivals that are, supposedly, more affordable.