Euro 2020: UEFA bans Volkswagen’s rainbow adverts in Russia and Azerbaijan – The Athletic - Techy Hunters


Friday, July 2, 2021

Euro 2020: UEFA bans Volkswagen’s rainbow adverts in Russia and Azerbaijan – The Athletic

What has happened?

Volkswagen wished to extend their rainbow advertising into the quarter-finals but were informed by UEFA this would not be possible.

The German car manufacturers were told that UEFA were concerned about the “legal framework” of public displays of support for LGBTQ people in Russia and Azerbaijan. Volkswagen told The Athletic they “regret” this development and will continue to have rainbow themed adverts in Munich and Rome for the other two quarter—finals and they wish to have the adverts on show for the semi-finals and final at Wembley.

What have Volkswagen said?

A Volkswagen spokesman told The Athletic: “Volkswagen took a clear stand for diversity with the colouring of the advertising banners in the round of 16 games throughout Europe.

“To continue to openly and consistently demonstrate this open-minded outlook when it comes to respect and equal rights, the plan was for our rainbow banners to be displayed again in the upcoming quarter final games in St. Petersburg, Munich, Baku and Rome.

“Due to concerns of UEFA with regard to the legal framework at the venues in Russia and Azerbaijan, the association informed us that it was not possible to use rainbow-colored banners on the advertising boards in St. Petersburg and Baku.

“We regret this development. Regardless of this, the LED advertising boards will be used as a colorful statement of diversity and respect in the two remaining quarter-finals in Munich and Rome and, if possible, in the remaining games of the tournament.”

What have UEFA said?

A statement from UEFA read: “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 UEFA EURO 2020 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 Saint-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.

“All other sponsors decided not to use rainbow artwork any longer in the tournament, with pride month having come to an end.”

What is the context around homosexuality in Russia and Azerbaijan?

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993 but in 2013, the country’s government introduced a “propaganda” ruling. Under the law, private individuals judged to be promoting “homosexual behaviour among minors” face fines of up to 5,000 roubles (£50). Officials risk paying 10 times that amount. Businesses and schools can be fined up to 500,000 roubles (£5,000).

Azerbaijan decriminalized same sex relations in 2000 but Human Rights Watch reported in 2017 how LGBTQ people have been victims of police violence, arrests and torture.

(Photo: Andre Weening/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

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