England’s Harry Kane looks on wearing a rainbow captains armband during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship. (Shaun Botterill – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
England players who rail against Hungary’s insidious anti-LGBT+ laws by wearing rainbows are “likely to avoid sanction”, according to reports.
Press Association understands that FIFA, the sport’s top governing body, is unlikely to enforce disciplinary action against England players who take a stance during the World Cup qualifier in Hungary.
But there is one snag. Such a gesture, the news agency claimed, would not be punished during the 2 September match in Budapest so as long as it is done “respectfully”.
All instances of players throwing on rainbow armbands, shoelaces, boots and undershirts will be judged on a “case-by-case basis”, it is understood.
Earlier this year, Hungarian lawmakers passed a horrifying law prohibiting the “promotion” of LGBT+ lives to minors in schools, advertising and in the media by, critics say, comparing homosexuality to paedophilia.
From football to Formula One, sportspeople protest against Hungary’s anti-LGBT+ laws
Hungary has faced fire from seemingly all sides since passing the dreaded law, with its chorus of critics ranging from European leaders and top European Union officials to embattled queer Hungarians and Formula One champions.
FIFA’s more relaxed position comes after UEFA, European football’s administrative body, shut down a Munich, Germany, mayor’s request to light up the Fussball-Arena Munich in the colours of the Pride flag in response to Hungary’s anti-LGBT+ law.
Dieter Reiter saw it as a defiant way to show the country’s solidarity with queer Hungarians – UEFA saw it as “political” and blocked the move.
“To all in this beautiful country Hungary,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram last month.
“Ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, I want to share my support for those affected by the government’s anti-LGBTQ+ law.
“It is unacceptable, cowardly and misguiding for those in power suggest such a law.”
Vettel landed in Hungary while wearing Pride-themed Converse, later donning a “same love” rainbow tee while taking the knee during the country’s national anthem.
He was later reprimanded by F1’s governing body – but he couldn’t care less.
“I’m happy if they disqualify me,” Vettel told reporters at the time. “They can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care.
“I would do it again.”