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Pitch Invader Flies Pride Flag During Hungary National Anthem

Pitch Invader Flies Pride Flag During Hungary National Anthem

They were tackled to the ground by security and applauded off the pitch by some of the crowd

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

A pitch invader ran on the pitch flying a pride flag during Hungary's national anthem, before their Euro 2020 clash with Germany.

Just minutes before the match was due to kick off, the pitch invader ran right in front of the Hungary team carrying the rainbow flag.

He was then tackled to the ground by security and applauded off the pitch by some of the crowd.

The protest comes amid growing international condemnation of a Hungarian law that bans the depiction or promotion of homosexuality to under 18s.

The law was passed by the Hungarian parliament on 16 June and has drawn widespread criticism; however, the conservative government has insisted the law is designed to protect children.

Rainbow flags are out in force among fans at the Group F match, after UEFA declined a request to illuminate the Allianz Arena in Munich in rainbow colours.

It said the request from Munich mayor Dieter Reiter was rejected because it was political, and made in response to legislation in Hungary banning the display and promotion of homosexuality to under 18s.

Reiter described UEFA's decision to block the request as 'shameful' on Tuesday and said other city landmarks would display rainbow colours instead.

Many fans are flying rainbow flags at the game.

UEFA's Twitter avatar was altered to rainbow colours on Wednesday, and it released a statement which read: "Today, UEFA is proud to wear the colours of the rainbow.

"It is a symbol that embodies our core values, promoting everything that we believe in - a more just and egalitarian society, tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background, belief or gender.

"Some people have interpreted UEFA's decision to turn down the city of Munich's request to illuminate the Munich stadium in rainbow colours for a Euro 2020 match as 'political'. On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team's presence in the stadium for this evening's match with Germany.

"For UEFA, the rainbow is not a political symbol, but a sign of our firm commitment to a more diverse and inclusive society."

Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer said on Tuesday he would have liked his club's stadium to be illuminated in this way for the match, adding: "Open-mindedness and tolerance are fundamental values that our society and FC Bayern stand for."

Munich's town hall has rainbow flags flying outside it, and the city mayor said on Tuesday that local officials planned to illuminate the wind turbine adjacent to the stadium and the Olympic tower in rainbow colours.

The law has drawn international condemnation.

"I find it shameful that UEFA forbids us to send a message here in Munich for openness, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the LGBTQI + community," Reiter said in a statement.

"I am also very disappointed that the DFB (the German football association), despite the unbelievably clear positioning here in Munich, in Bavaria and also in Germany, has not achieved or wanted to achieve anything."

The Hungarian bill has been criticised by the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, who said it 'goes against the fundamental principles of the European Union' and warned the commission would use all its powers to protect the rights of EU citizens.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: SPORT, World News, Football