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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

Sports News

FA explain refusal to light up Wembley for Israel after Hamas terror attacks

today20/10/2023

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FA chief excutive Mark Bullingham has shed light on the decision not to illuminate the Wembley arch as a tribute for Israel.

Nearly two weeks ago, Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on the country – with thousands left dead and injured as a result.


The FA has previously opted to light up Wembley for countries such as Belgium and Paris after terror attacks.

They have also illuminated the arch in support of Ukraine after Russia invaded the country last year.

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And Bullingham has now explained the FA’s decision, insisting they had a long meeting and that Australia didn’t seem to be in favour of the gesture due to matches against Palestine and Lebanon.

Speaking at a Leaders Week conference at Twickenham Stadium, he said: “We had a long board meeting on the Wednesday night and heard from experts on what is one of the most complicated geopolitical conflicts on Earth.

“It’s worth noting that the Australians had upcoming games against both Palestine and Lebanon, so their desire for neutrality was obviously incredibly strong.

“We all felt then, and we all feel now, that football should stand for peace and humanity and the wish to show compassion for all innocent victims of this terrible conflict.

“I recognise 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.

“We aren’t asking for everyone to agree with our decision, but to understand how we reached it.”

Bullingham did, however, apologise for the FA ‘adding to the hurt’ of many fans across the globe.

“This was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make,” he stated.

“The last thing we ever wanted to do in this situation was to add to the hurt.

“This week has made us question whether we should light the arch and when, and we’ll be reviewing that in the coming weeks.”

And the FA chief also defended football as a whole, insisting other sports didn’t face the same scrutiny and focus.

“It would be easy for football to ask why we’re the only sport being talked about in this way,” he said.

“Particularly when rugby and cricket are in the middle of their World Cups.

“However, you have to understand, and we understand, that the power of football means it will always be in the spotlight.

“And that’s just something we have to accept.”

There was a period of silence before England’s victory over Australia on Friday.

And players wore black armbands, too, to remember all those who have died as a result of the conflict in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, GB News presenter Nigel Farage condemned the FA for their refusal to illuminate Wembley and said they were ‘hypocrites’ for their decision.

He said on social media: “So our Football Association loves to present their manners, their pride, doing the right thing all the time.

“So the arch at Wembley it puts up the French flag when France is under attack, the Turkish attack when they are under attack, the Ukraine flag when they were under attack and, of course, when the World Cup was going on in Qatar, the LGBTQ+ flag went up.

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Israel have seen thousands of their citizens murdered or injured after Hamas attacks

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“Because we’re good people, we’re nice people, we’re great people.

“Until it comes to the jews. And then no one cares because they refuse to put up the Israel flag, despite what Hamas has done there over the course of the past five days.

“This is pure cowardice.

“They’re obviously worried about the local population, living in that area.

“And all of it says one thing.

“All this wonderful talk we have about diversity, how wonderful it is, well if this is multi-culturalism, if we’re so scared of these extremists that celebrate terror on the streets of London then we’re in a bad place.

“I’m sorry to the FA, you can take the knee all you like.

“But this makes you total, utter hypocrites.”





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