UEFA denies rainbow flag ban in Dutch fan zone

UEFA has denied it prevented Dutch supporters from bringing rainbow flags into the official fan zone in Budapest ahead of the Euro 2020 round-of-16 tie between Netherlands and Czech Republic on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the KNVB confirmed to ESPN Netherlands that security guards asked fans with rainbow flags to hand them over at UEFA’s request.

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However, UEFA released a statement to clarify the situation which read: “Contrary to some reports in Dutch media, UEFA would like to clarify that it has not banned any rainbow-coloured symbols from the fan zone in Budapest, which is under the responsibility of the local authorities.

“UEFA would very much welcome any such symbol into the fan zone.

“UEFA today informed the Hungarian Football Federation that rainbow-coloured symbols are not political and in line with UEFA’s #EqualGame campaign, which fights against all discrimination, including against the LGBTQI+ community, such flags will be allowed into the stadium.”

Dutch supporters decided to bring rainbow flags to Budapest in protest of a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers last week that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment.

The law has been denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups, who say it links homosexuality with pedaphilia.

UEFA is investigating allegations of racist and homophobic chanting in the Puskas Arena during France’s 2-2 Group F draw with Portugal on Wednesday.

That game took place on the same day as Hungary’s encounter with Germany in Munich, when UEFA rejected 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 rules introduced by Hungary’s government.

Netherlands coach Frank de Boer confirmed captain Georginio Wijnaldum has said will wear a rainbow armband bearing the phrase “One Love” during Sunday’s Euro 2020 clash.

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