UEFA has asked its sponsors not to use rainbow-coloured advertising at stadiums in Baku and Saint Petersburg during the Euro 2020 quarter-finals, Volkswagen said Friday. “Due to UEFA’s concerns about the legal framework for venues in Russia and Azerbaijan, the association informed us it wouldn’t be possible to use rainbow-coloured advertising on billboards in Saint Petersburg and Baku," the automobile giant wrote in a statement sent to AFP.
Earlier in the tournament, during Germany’s group-stage match against Hungary, the city of Munich wanted to light the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours in support of the LGBTQ community.
But UEFA denied local authorities permission.
Several Euro sponsors, including Volkswagen, instead broadcasted rainbow-coloured adverts in stadiums during last-16 matches, although none of those games were played in Russia or Azerbaijan.
Volkswagen said it “regretted" UEFA’s latest refusal, saying it had wanted to “send a clear signal in favour of diversity".
The company said it would be allowed to show rainbow-coloured advertising in Rome and London during the rest of the European Championship.
Switzerland face Spain in Saint Petersburg in the first quarter-final on Friday, with Denmark playing the Czech Republic in Baku on Saturday.