Stewards in the stadium at Denmark’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Czech Republic appear to have confiscated a rainbow flag from spectators.
The moment two members of security staff at the Baku Olympic Stadium approached the Denmark supporters and took the flag off them was caught on camera.
The incident also appeared to draw a reaction from the fans immediately surrounding them. The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.
Stewards in the stadium at Denmark’s Euro 2020 quarter-final appear to have confiscated a rainbow flag
Two members of security staff at the Baku Olympic Stadium approached the Denmark supporters and appeared to take the flag off them
It is not the first time this appears to have occurred during the tournament, with Netherlands supporters having reported they had their flags confiscated in a fan zone in Budapest, host city of Holland’s defeat by Czech Republic in the last 16 last weekend.
Fans of the Netherlands were keen to make clear their opposition in response to the recent introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Hungary. But UEFA responded in a statement, insisting any banning of the flags was being ordered by Hungarian authorities.
The incident also comes just a day after Euro 2020 sponsor Volkswagen said it was told by UEFA it was not possible to use rainbow-coloured banners on advertising boards at the quarter-finals in Baku, Azerbaijan and Saint Petersburg in Russia.
The car manufacturer, which became a sponsor of UEFA international competitions in 2018, says the governing body had ‘concerns with regard to the legal framework at the venues in Russia and Azerbaijan’.
The incident also appeared to draw a reaction from the fans immediately surrounding them
Netherlands supporters reported having their flags confiscated in a fan zone in Budapest
Volkswagen said the rainbow boards would be used ‘as a colourful statement of diversity and respect’ at Italy’s quarter-final in Munich on Friday and in Rome for England’s match on Saturday, and hoped to also use them at the remaining games at Wembley. They added that they regretted this development.
UEFA said in a statement: ‘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 quarter-final 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 St 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.
UEFA also riled football fans across the world after launching a defence of its decision not to allow a rainbow colours light display at the Allianz Arena
‘All other sponsors decided not to use rainbow artwork any longer in the tournament, with pride month having come to an end.’
UEFA also riled football fans across the world after launching a defence of its decision not to allow a rainbow colours light display at the Allianz Arena ahead of Germany‘s Euro 2020 clash against Hungary.
Dieter Reiter, the mayor of Munich, had been pushing to illuminate the stadium in his city as a direct response to legislation approved by Viktor Orban’s populist right-wing government.
But UEFA upheld its own decision, claiming that while the symbol itself is not political, the request on the other hand is, given that it was made with Hungary’s side set to be present at Bayern Munich’s ground.
That stance was however criticised by European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, who said there was no ‘reasonable excuse’ for their stance.
‘Yes, I find it very difficult to understand what UEFA is trying to do by going against this initiative of the Munich city council,’ he said.
Germany captain Manuel Neuer wore the rainbow captain’s armband which briefly sparked a disciplinary investigation by UEFA
Mats Hummels and Joachim Low also threw their support behind the rainbow colours
‘Frankly, I do not find any reasonable excuse for that. They supported all the good causes. And all of a sudden, they make an issue out of this.’
There has been plenty of support from the football world too during the tournament, with Germany captain Manuel Neuer wearing the rainbow captain’s armband which briefly sparked a disciplinary investigation by UEFA before they went back on their decision.
His international team-mate Mats Hummels meanwhile turned up for a pre-match press conference wearing a multi-coloured shirt branded with the slogan ‘love unites’ and spoke of the positive impact sportsmen and women can make on society.
Former Germany coach Joachim Low also added he would have been ‘happy if the stadium was illuminated in rainbow colours’ and that it was important not only to provide ‘symbols’, but also to ‘live with these values’.
Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum also wore the armband in their last-16 defeat.
Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum also wore the armband in their last-16 defeat