Uefa receives report on homophobic banner at Hungary v Portugal match
Uefa has been sent an official report on a homophobic banner at the Euro 2020 match between Hungary and Portugal on Tuesday. The anti-discrimination group Fare, which monitors matches for incidents of racism and other forms of discrimination, has sent a report to Uefa and discussed the matter with officials.
Images on social media showed banners stating “Anti-LMBTQ” (using the Hungarian abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.
Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday that bans the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change, amid strong criticism from human rights groups and opposition parties.
Fare was also critical of the booing of the Republic of Ireland team during a pre-tournament friendly with Hungary in Budapest, when the Irish team took the knee.
“The situation in Hungary is problematic,” said Piara Powar, executive director of Fare. “We do need a better and more firm approach to respect for universal rights being conditional for hosting matches at major tournaments.
“In Hungary last week the FA issued a statement once they knew the Irish players would take the knee to say it was a political gesture. This then prompted boos against the Irish players and then, a week later, in the same stadium a prominent banner has appeared that is homophobic.
“These are political acts in support and endorsement of the policies of the government which has just passed a law that is widely considered to marginalise the LGBTQ community.
“You cannot make a distinction between the government’s position and what appears to be the position of the football association. It shows where Hungary is as a country. It doesn’t bode well for international events.”
The Hungarian FA and Uefa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Fidesz party of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, which promotes a Christian-conservative agenda, tacked the proposal banning school talks on LGBTQ issues to a separate, widely backed bill that strictly penalises paedophilia.
The move, which critics say wrongly conflates paedophilia with LGBTQ issues, triggered a protest outside parliament on Monday, and several rights groups have called on Fidesz to withdraw the bill.
Under amendments submitted to the bill last week, under-18s cannot be shown any content that encourages gender change or homosexuality. This also applies to advertisements. The law sets up a list of organisations allowed to provide education about sex in schools.