Wembley colored in Ukraine’s flag, but no Israeli lights
The war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas has thrown English soccer into turmoil.The English Football Association (FA) has decided not to light up the colors of the Israeli flag at Wembley Stadium, a “football shrine,” the BBC reported on Wednesday (June 12).Wembley Stadium has a diagonal arch, and the FA has often used the stadium and its lights to send messages during major events.Most notably, when Ukraine was invaded by Russia last year, it was lit in the yellow and blue colors of the Ukrainian national anthem to show solidarity.
This time, however, the FA will not be lighting the white and blue colors of the Israeli flag.England and Australia are set to play a Test match at Wembley on Thursday, and the FA has decided to send a message of peace and unity in a different way than the lights.”The FA has decided not to light the stadium in the colors of the Israeli flag because of possible backlash from some communities in the country,” the BBC said.According to the outlet, an FA meeting was held on Nov. 11 to discuss the issue, with some attendees voicing strong concerns that the lights could be divisive.
Some senior members of the FA also reportedly argued that the organization needed to be wary of the perception that it was taking sides in the Middle East conflict.The FA’s choice also appears to go against the advice of the UK government.On November 11, the UK government wrote to major sporting organizations, asking them to show support for the victims of the Hamas attacks and urging them to “conduct their events in an appropriate manner, taking into account past examples.”
Former FA chairman David Bernstein, who is Jewish, told the Daily Telegraph that he was “shocked and hurt” by the FA’s response to the Hamas attack.Foreign players in the English Premier League (EPL) are divided.Ukrainian player Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal), who has been vocal about his country’s war, posted on social media, “I’m with Israel.”Zinchenko’s teammate, midfielder Mohamed Elneny, changed his social media profile picture to a Palestinian flag.Jewish supporters of each club issued a joint statement criticizing the FA for “tying itself in knots.”Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and European Football Association (UEFA) have yet to 스포츠토토존 issue a statement on the war.