Thomas Hitzlsperger shares poignant message to UEFA after Pride-coloured stadium is declined

<p>The Allianz stadium in Munich</p>

The Allianz stadium in Munich

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Thomas Hitzlsperger has shared a poignant message to UEFA after it blocked an application to light up the Euro 2020 stadium in Munich with rainbow colours for the Germany vs Hungary match tomorrow night.

The German director of football tweeted to UEFA: “Dear @EURO2020, don’t be offended by the . Think about those who still get discriminated. They need support. Your support, too!”

Hitzlsperger one of the highest-profile footballers to come out as gay - he revealed the news back in 2014 after he retired.

His response has received thousands of likes in support.

UEFA said it received the request from the mayor of the German city, Dieter Reiter, on Monday.

It said the application was denied because it believes the gesture has a “political context.”

The request was made after Hungary passed legislation banning gay people from appearing in school educational materials or programmes for under-18s.

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Due to this, UEFA have offered alternative dates to illuminate the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours.

But other Bundesliga clubs - including, Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg - have already said they plan to light up their stadiums during tomorrow’s match in solidarity.

Supporters of Hitzlsperger also tweeted their praise at his statement and criticised European football’s governing body for not defending gay rights.

Some blasted UEFA for their decision and pleaded with them to reverse it.

There has been a different reaction out of Hungary though.

“Thank God that in the circles of European football leadership common sense still prevails and they did not play along with the political provocation,” said Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, according to Reuters.

“UEFA made the right decision.”

In a statement, UEFA said: “Racism, homophobia, sexism, and all forms of discrimination are a stain on our societies - and represent one of the biggest problems faced by the game today.

“Discriminatory behaviour has marred both matches themselves and, outside the stadiums, the online discourse around the sport we love.

“However Uefa, through its statutes, is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request - a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament - Uefa must decline this request.”

Meanwhile, UEFA have stopped a review into the rainbow captain’s arm band worn by German international, Manuel Neuer.

It has said that the arm is a a team symbol for diversity and therefore a “good cause.”

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