Wembley to focus on peace messaging rather than lighting the arch with Israeli flag

October 12 – The English Football Association is unlikely to mark the recent atrocities in Israel by lighting the Wembley arch in the colours of the Israeli flag when England take on Australia in a friendly on Friday.

The UK’s Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said he believed the Wembley arch should be illuminated in the colours of Israel but the BBC says this is unlikely because of fears of a backlash in certain communities.

The British government is encouraging sports bodies to pay their respects, sending a letter urging them to “appropriately” mark the attacks in Israel by Hamas.

But rather than lighting the Wembley arch, a message of peace and unity will apparently be conveyed before England face Australia.

The death toll in Israel from the Hamas attacks have now reportedly reached 1,200, while more than 1,100 people have been killed by retaliatory Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Meanwhile, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin , “on behalf of the entire European football community”, has sent a letter sent to the chairman of the Israel Football Association expressing support following the appaling loss of life.

” I am writing to express our profound sorrow upon learning about the tragic acts of violence that occurred last week in Israel, resulting in the loss of innocent lives,” said Ceferin in his letter.

“My heart goes out to all the victims and their families during these difficult times. It is an unimaginable tragedy, and the pain and sorrow are profound and resonate across the entire football community. We sincerely hope no one will ever again experience such grief, My friend, I pray for these deep wounds to heal and for a world where such senseless acts of violence have no place.”

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