Damien Duff slams UEFA stance on homophobia, saying its core values are 'just money and power'

The statement followed news that a protester with a rainbow flag ran onto the pitch during Hungary's national anthem.

A protestor invading a football match with a Pride flag gets stopped by security

Talking on RTÉ last night, Richie Sadlier described the recent Twitter statement by UEFA as being full of “hollow, cowardly statements,” while Damien Duff explained that UEFA’s stance on homophobia during the tournament is indicative of a wider issue within the sport.

He described the organisation’s “core values” as being centred around “Just money and power. They’re the two that jump out to me.” 

“They make out there’s no room for racism in football. Well, I was watching Rangers V Slavia Prague, I think it was the quarter-final, but Glen Kamara got racially abused, like blatantly obviously, clear as day, and I think the player, in the end, got a 10 game ban. They tried to fight that, but he got a 10 game ban. You can get two years for taking drugs. Two years! Even more. But if you racially abuse someone you can get 10 games, which is essentially what, you can play 10 games nowadays in six or seven weeks. So, it’s madness. They continually let themselves down.” 

This conversation came following a protestor in Munich rushing onto the pitch, during the Germany V Hungary match, waving an LGBTQ+ Pride flag during the Hungarian national anthem, in response to the news that Hungary is set to enact a series of legislations that will prohibit the promotion of LGBTQ+ sexualities to people under 18 years of age. 

The stadium in Munich had requested to light the stadium up in LGBTQ+ Pride colours, before being denied by the UEFA. In a statement released on Twitter, the UEFA defended its decision, saying that the LGBTQ+ Pride flag “is not a political symbol.” The statement went on, however, to state that: 

“On the contrary, the request itself was political, linked to the Hungarian football team’s presence in the stadium for this evening’s match with Germany.” 

The UEFA’s decision to release a statement in supposed support of the LGBTQ+ community and Pride flag, while remaining neutral at best on real issues facing the community, is indicative of a wider issue within the commercialised, corporate world whereby UEFA and other organisations can don a rainbow flag across their social media platforms while continuing to support governments, corporations, and other organisations that directly oppose the rights of the community which that flag represents.

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