Israel-Hamas war: FA won't light up Wembley for England v Australia match but players will wear armbands
The FA has released a statement about its response to the conflict in Israel and Gaza ahead of England's match against Australia on Friday 13 October
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The FA has said that Wembley won't be lit up in the colours of Israel for England's upcoming match against Australia.
The Three Lions are due to take to the pitch in an international friendly on Friday 13 October. The match takes place almost one week after militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, with Israel launching retaliation air strikes on the Gaza Strip. At least 1,200 Israelis have been killed in the violence, while 1,300 Palestinian people have been killed in the retaliatory airstrikes.
Landmarks around the world have been lit up in the colours of the Israeli flag over the past week, including the Empire State Building and Downing Street. While the iconic Wembley Stadium arch has been lit up in various colours for different causes and incidents over the years, the association confirmed that it would not be lit up in white and blue for the friendly match.
In a statement, the FA said: “On Friday evening, we will remember the innocent victims of the devastating events in Israel and Palestine. Our thoughts are with them, and their families and friends in England and Australia and with all the communities who are affected by this ongoing conflict. We stand for humanity and an end to the death, violence, fear and suffering."
Although the arch will not be lit up, the match will begin with a minute silence to remember those who have lost their lives on both the Israeli and Palestinian side of the conflict. There will also be a crackdown on flags and kits not from either England or Australia at the match. The statement continued: "Following discussions with partners and external stakeholders, we will only permit flags, replica kits and other representations of nationality for the competing nations inside Wembley Stadium for the upcoming matches against Australia [13 Oct] and Italy [17 Oct].”
It comes after European football body UEFA condemned the attack launched by Hamas. A letter from UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin written to Israeli FA president Shino Zuares, read: “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. “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. I pray for these deep wounds to heal and for a world where such senseless acts of violence have no place.”