“UEFA should be there to protect the players and make the decision,” said the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder. “It shouldn’t be left to the players. Players are often punished for protecting themselves, so UEFA needs to play a leading role in this. I said I don’t really know how I will react in such a situation. I thought at first that I would leave the field, but maybe not now, because maybe the opponent will think, “Let them [in the crowd] throw racist slurs and they will leave the field. I may leave the field, but I will talk to the players first. “
The 30-year-old Wijnaldum intends to wear a rainbow captain’s armband emblazoned with “One Love” in solidarity with the LGBTQ community during Pride Month.
“It’s not just against Hungary,” said the Premier League and Champions League winner with Liverpool. “The armband means a lot because we stand for diversity – a love means everyone is part of it and everyone should be free to be who they are. In our opinion, [the right to be yourself] has been encroached. As players we have a podium to do whatever we can to help. “
Germany captain and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer picked up the victory earlier in the tournament and was the subject of a brief UEFA investigation for it, but was dropped with the governing body of European football “calling it a team symbol for diversity”.
Still, UEFA would not allow Munich’s Allianz Arena to be lit up in rainbow colors for Wednesday’s game against Germany against Hungary. The Hungarian parliament recently passed a law under the guise of combating pedophilia that bans the sharing of any content featuring homosexuality or gender identity in sex education for children under the age of 18. The law has been widely criticized by other members of the European Union with 17 EU leaders writing a letter on Thursday condemning the bill and promising to take legal action against it.
Also on Thursday, UEFA announced an investigation into allegations of racial and homophobic abuse against Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and France’s Kylian Mbappe in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Budapset.