Wembley Arch goes dark on humanitarian causes

November 23 – The Wembley Arch will no longer be lit for humanitarian causes after the English FA reviewed its policy following criticism for not lighting it in Israel’s colours. 

The FA has acknowledged the criticism by reviewing its policy and moving forward the arch will be illuminated for sporting and entertainment purposes only.

Following the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7, the FA faced pressure to light the arch in the colours of the flag of Israel but ultimately opted for a period of silence to honour those who died in the attacks and the Palestinian victims of Israel’s subsequent offensive before the friendly match against Australia on October 13.

At the time, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham demanded that people understand how the FA reached the decision.

“I recognise that our decision caused hurt to the Jewish community who felt that we should have lit the arch and that we should have shown stronger support for them. This was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make, and the last thing we ever wanted to do in this situation was to add to the hurt. We aren’t asking for everyone to agree with our decision, but to understand how we reached it.”

In the past, the arch has been illuminated to support various causes.

Last year, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the arch was illuminated in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, and it displayed the colours of the French tricolour after the terror attack at Bataclan in 2015. The arch was also lit following the death of the Queen last year.

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