Sebastian Vettel has criticised the decision of football’s governing body UEFA to prevent a stadium in Germany from displaying the colours of the pride flag at a Euro 2020 match yesterday.
Vettel and Aston Martin team mate Lance Stroll ran pride flags on their cars during last weekend’s French Grand Prix. The four-times world champion said his disagreed with UEFA’s decision.
“I don’t know all the details but I think to excuse it as a political message I think is the wrong path,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.
“It’s definitely not harming anybody and I think it’s a great message that they would have loved to send out and were not allowed. So I think some institutions need to rethink their approach on banning these type of messages. As I said it’s definitely the way forward and I didn’t understand it.”
FIA president Jean Todt recently commented on the relationship between sport and politics, indicating he disagreed with suggestions Formula 1 should avoid racing in countries with poor human rights records.
“[For] five years I’m very much involved with the UN as secretary general special envoy for road safety,” he explained. “If you see the high-level panel I am sure that you are well aware I made on road safety, you have Zeid [Raad] Al Hussein, a former high commissioner for human rights. You have Michelle Bachelet, the actual high commissioner for human rights, you have Filippo Grandi, high commissioner for refugees. So in a way, it’s a privilege I have to be discussing with them.
“Incidentally yesterday Stefano [Domenicali] was there, he came to visit me, and I had Jacques Toubon, former justice minister who has been until last year in charge of human rights in France, and I spoke with him about that. And everybody is in favour of having races wherever around the world.
“The only thing is, I mean, we are a sport, it’s also something I discussed very often with the Olympic Committee, with Thomas Bach, with Christophe De Kepper, because they have the same problem. And clearly we consider that sport should not be involved with politics.”
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