From FIFA to UEFA, the hypocrisy of political correctness

The municipality of Munich asked the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) that the stadium where Germany and Hungary were to play a game on Wednesday, June 23, be lit up in rainbow colors to protest the anti-LGBTI law passed in Budapest, but the regional sport’s higher-ups denied the request.

The excuse UEFA gave was that it is a “politically and religiously neutral organization.” Shortly after, however, it jumped on the bandwagon of the celebrations of the LGBTI visibility month, and in an effort to show that it too was “inclusive,” it painted its logo on social media in rainbow colors.

German soccer clubs saw this as hypocritical and reacted by lighting up their stadiums with the LGBTI flag during the game.

In response, Hungarian clubs, some with ties to the far-right Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, draped their stadiums in the national flag.

UEFA has caught its feet in the carpet, as its decision to refuse [the request] is, in fact, also a political decision,” French European Affairs Minister Clément Beaune commented lucidly, pointing to the organization’s lack of consistency.

A “shame,” is what European Union President Ursula von der Leyen has called the Hungarian law, saying it “clearly discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and goes against the fundamental values of the EU.”

Before the game, Amnesty International handed out rainbow flags in the vicinity of Munich’s Allianz Arena stadium, where the game was to be played.

The antigay—and anti-migrant and anti-labor—policies of the Orban government are nothing new, and in our Latin American region we can see many similarities in the policies furthered by the (mis)government of Jair Bolsonaro.

Rel UITA (IUF Latin America) repudiates these policies in the strongest of terms, just as it finds reprehensible that an institution like UEFA thinks it could simply remain neutral in such a fundamental human rights issue.

Although, considering the past and history of the organization, it does not seem too surprising.

Gerardo Iglesias and Gisele Adao