According to a report from The Athletic, the company was in talks to display rainbow-themed pitch-side advertisements in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
But concerns about the “legal framework” around LGBTQ+ support in Russia and Azerbaijan prompted the UEFA’s decision to nix the inclusive gesture.
“Volkswagen took a clear stand for diversity with the colouring of the advertising banners in the round of 16 games throughout Europe,” a spokesperson told The Athletic.
“To continue to openly and consistently demonstrate this open-minded outlook when it comes to respect and equal rights, the plan was for our rainbow banners to be displayed again in the upcoming quarter-final games in St Petersburg, Munich, Baku and Rome.
“Due to concerns of UEFA with regard to the legal framework at the venues in Russia and Azerbaijan, the association informed us that it was not possible to use rainbow-coloured banners on the advertising boards in St. Petersburg and Baku.”
The spokesperson then ended their statement saying that the LGBTQ+ friendly LED advertisement will still be used in the semi-finals in Munich and Rome.