UEFA bans rainbow advertising at two quarterfinals

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UEFA has banned advertising using the rainbow colours at two Euro 2020 quarterfinal matches in Russia and Azerbaijan.

Spain’s penalty shootout victory over Switzerland took place in Saint-Petersburg, Russia while Czech Republic and Denmark will face each other in Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday.

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UEFA said its decision was based on following local legislation in each nation.

A statement on Saturday read: “UEFA fully supports the display of such messages of tolerance and respect for diversity, which were already displayed in all stadiums at all round of 16 matches and will be displayed by UEFA’s partner Volkswagen at the UEFA Euro 2020 quarterfinal matches in Munich and Rome.

“UEFA requires its sponsors to ensure that their artwork is compliant with local legislation and we understand that this is not the case in Baku and Saint-Petersburg.

“UEFA will however continue to highlight its fight against all types of discrimination through its Equal Game campaign across all stadiums in all remaining matches.

“All other sponsors decided not to use rainbow artwork any longer in the tournament, with pride month having come to an end.”

The decision has been condemned by Germany’s gay and lesbian association and spokesperson Alfonso Pantisano told AFP news agency: “UEFA’s audacity and deceit are boundless.

“With this action, it is betraying not only lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people in Azerbaijan and Russia, but also in the whole of Europe.”

UEFA has faced criticism during the tournament after rejecting a request for the Allianz Arena to be lit in rainbow colours due to its insistence that it would be a political act against new laws introduced by Hungary’s government.

The governing body also had to deny reports that it prevented Dutch supporters from bringing rainbow flags into the official fan zone in Budapest’s Puskas Arena last weekend.

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