UEFA says it has launched an investigation after a Denmark fan had his rainbow flag confiscated by stewards in Baku ahead of his country’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Czech Republic.
Stadium security in the Azerbaijan capital appeared to remove the flag from two Danish fans after it had been visible in the Denmark section during warm-ups. Two security personnel moved in and one of them took hold of the flag.
Kristoffer Føns said stewards refused to give a reason for the removal of his flag, while UEFA insists that it has never instructed staff in any Euro 2020 host stadium to confiscate rainbow flags from supporters.
“An official UEFA security guard approached me and snatched the flag,” Føns told Danish outlet DR Sporten.
“We were going to a place where human rights don’t exist, and I have been sceptical about the upcoming World Cup taking place in Qatar, so I would feel like a hypocrite if I didn’t do something about it.”
European football’s governing body says the flag was returned to the supporter and insisted that it contacted the UEFA delegate and UEFA security officer at the stadium to investigate as soon as it was made aware of the incident.
“UEFA never instructed stewards in Baku – or in any other stadium – to confiscate rainbow flags,” a statement said.
“As soon as UEFA had been made aware about the incident we contacted the UEFA delegate and UEFA security officer at the stadium to investigate and clarify the issue with the local stewards. We were informed after the match that the flag had been returned to its owner.
“The rainbow flag is a symbol that embodies UEFA core values, promoting everything that we believe in – a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone and UEFA has ensured that the flag was returned to the supporter.”