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UEFA drop Neuer armband investigation


FOOTBALL body UEFA have confirmed that it has dropped their investigation into Germany captain Manuel Neuer’s use of a rainbow armband during pride month. 

The Germany FA (DFB) made the announcement on Twitter, stating that UEFA determined the armband to be a team symbol for diversity and therefore was for a “good cause.” 

“UEFA have today shared with the DFB that they have stopped the review of the rainbow captain’s armband worn by @Manuel_Neuer,” Germany’s football team said in posts on Twitter and Facebook.

“In a letter, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a ‘good cause.'”

According to news outlets, UEFA reportedly was investigating Neuer’s act for any breach of its rules because it viewed the rainbow armband as a political symbol. 

The organization prohibits “political demonstrations” by players and teams. 

UEFA’s investigation was prompted by Neuer wearing the armband during Germany’s 2-4 win over Portugal, in their European Championship group match-up, in solidarity with the LGBT+ community, during June in honour of Pride Month. 

Had UEFA continued the investigation and somehow found Germany in breach of their act, Germany’s FA would be fined. 

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The goalkeeper first wore it in a friendly against Latvia on June 7, and has continued to do so in Germany’s Euro 2020 group stage matches against France and Portugal.

The investigation prompted widespread criticism from the public over UEFA’s actions in a number of areas. 

Football fans tagged UEFA in a tweet that organisation released in 2019, reading: “Proud that EURO2020 will be a tournament for everyone,” with the rainbow and hashtag “equalgame.”

Fans also referred UEFA to Hungary, who recently passed an anti-LGBTI+ bill, and are currently under investigation by the organisation, for breaching discrimination rules in incidents that occurred during Hungary’s qualifying and friendly matches.  

Sky Sports alleges that the Germany FA are considering lighting up the Allianz Stadium with rainbow colours for their final group match against Hungary in Munich. 

It reported that Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, intends to write to UEFA for permission to light Allianz stadium with Pride flag colours ahead of the match as a sign against homophobia and intolerance.

“This is an important sign of tolerance and equality,” Reiter told news agency dpa. 

The Euro 2020 semifinals and final are set to be played at Wembley Stadium in England, but the country’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions and protocols may hamper their hosting efforts.

By The African Mirror