Soccer bosses at UEFA Euros, the world’s second biggest tournament, are being accused of trying to cancel Paris Pride and refusing to pay tribute to the victims of Orlando.
Paris Pride is one of the biggest LGBTI rights events in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands participants and spectators.
And this year it fell as UEFA are holding the Euros 2016, one of the world’s biggest football tournaments for European teams, in the French capital from 10 June to 10 July 2016.
Pride was originally planned for 25 June, held on the same day as San Francisco, London, New York City and many other cities across the world.
But then organizers were told to postpone the event due to ‘security’. This has led to many questioning whether UEFA has put pressure on Pride leaders to cancel the event entirely.
There are security and safety concerns. French authorities have arrested and detained over 100 fans over violent incidents, with UEFA having threatened to kick teams like Russia and England out of the competition if there are more assaults.
Instead of the 4.6km route planned for last weekend, on 2 July the parade has been halved. It will run from Bastille square to the Louvre museum.
According to Inter-LGBT, the ‘priority was to ensure the safety of protestors’.
In memory of the 49 victims killed in the shooting in Orlando, organizers have invited people to wear a black armband in tribute.
UEFA has also faced criticism for refusing to hold a minute’s silence for Orlando.
Last November, there were minutes of silence observed around the world after 130 people were killed in ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis.
‘In general, in UEFA competitions, tributes (moments of silence, black armbands) are made to victims of tragic events that are either directly related to football or at one of the participating teams and the host country,’ a UEFA spokesman said in a statement to Gay Star News, noting the institution has also honored large-scale tragic events that led to the deaths of thousands of people.
‘This was the case of 11 September 2001, during which the minute of silence was held the same day in Nantes, for example.’
They added: ‘Unfortunately, there are tragic events taking place almost daily around the world, and it would be simply unrealistic to honor all victims. We strongly condemn any kind of violence, including the attacks in Orlando, and we extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of this horrible tragedy and their families.’