Special report: UEFA & the love-in with Eastern European strongmen. Refusal to challenge or condemn homophobia, cosy meetings between @UEFA president Ceferin & Belarus Lukashenko & Russia Putin. Orban’s homophobic Hungarian govt has 2022 Europa final (1/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
#hun: LGBT representation & support stripped from education. No right to marry, adopt kids, legal recognition of gender reassignment. Latest bill added to child abuse motion, conflating LGBT with paedophilia. Yet UEFA rewards Orban pre-2022 election (2/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
Thing is; polling shows Hungarians aren’t opposed to LGBT people in huge numbers. 59% support same sex adoption (62% in France). Star player Peter Gulacsi spoke out in support. Orban building a voter coalition but doesn’t reflect majority view. (3/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
#belarus Lukashenko’s alleged rigged election & plane-jacking not dissuading UEFA. Minsk was due to host 2021 UEFA congress & awarded U-19 women Euros to Minsk. Ice Hockey & Modern Pentathlon show greater resolve, stripping Minsk of hosting rights (4/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
#baku Azerbaijan awarded 2019 Europa final & games at @EURO2020. Ranked by @ILGAEurope as worst legal/policy situation for #LGBTQ in Europe. Reports in 2017 of gays electrocuted. Mkhitaryan could not travel safely to 2019 final due to Armenia tension (5/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
#UEFA Control and Disciplinary body did consider whether Neuer armband worthy of “punishment”. Passive on homophobia, proactive when players show solidarity. Chair & two vice chairs of that UEFA body been in situ since 1992! (6/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
While @UEFA sucks up to Lukashenko, Putin and Orban, Germany & players lead backlash. Tomorrow in Munich, stadium lights up in rainbow. #Ger star Goretzka says it’s absurd to apologise for rainbow armband. @PernilleMHarder calls for UEFA to be brave (7/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
Most understand need to engage/grow game outside Western Europe. What is unacceptable is @UEFA providing spotlight and prestige for strongmen without challenge or scrutiny. Ceferin gave valuable photo ops to Lukashenko/Putin/Orban/Aliyev (pictured) (8/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
We will continue covering on @TheAthleticUK - £1/month subscription offer if you’d like to support us in how we cover this. Would love to see BBC/ITV telly coverage take an interest too during tournament. (9/9) theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
I overestimated @uefa. Blocked Munich request for rainbow lights at Allianz Arena. Spokesman: “Given political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by the Hungarian national parliament – UEFA must decline this request.” theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
Hungary Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto: "Thank God that in circles of Euro football leadership common sense still prevails & they did not play along with political provocation. UEFA made right call”

Couldn’t be clearer. UEFA is in bed with bigoted govts theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…
Do we have... momentum? Bayern and Barcelona take unusual step of involving themselves in non-club matters and undermine UEFA’s stance. 🏳️‍🌈
Add Juventus. A cynic may wonder whether Juve & Barcelona, being two of the remaining super league sign-ups, may relish knocking the UEFA moralisers down a peg or two. But either way, this is good!
this moment genuinely feels like the first time male-led clubs, footballers and coaches have truly felt compelled to intervene in support of LGBT people. It feels ... nice. Time for @UEFA to get a grip and join the fun.
Observation: Vice-chair of UEFA’s exec committee & also FIFA is Hungarian Sándor Csanyi. He is also President of Hungarian FA. A @Reuters profile in 2013 described him as “the banker who knows what’s on the Hungarian PM’s mind”. Sounds *quite* political. theathletic.com/2665233/2021/0…

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