Football Association refuses to illuminate Wembley arch for social and political causes

The decision by England’s Football Association to refrain from lighting up Wembley Stadium’s arch for social and political causes has sparked debate and controversy. In the past, the FA has used the iconic arch as a symbol of support for various causes, such as the LGBTQ+ community and countries affected by conflict. However, a recent move to not light up the arch in solidarity with Israel drew criticism from the British government.

Moving forward, the governing body has reportedly decided to limit the use of the arch for matters related to football and entertainment, rather than for causes and campaigns supported by the FA. This decision signifies a shift in the FA’s approach to using the arch as a symbol of solidarity and support for global issues.

While the FA’s decision is likely to continue to generate discussion and debate, the organization remains committed to showing respect and support for important issues, as evidenced by their decision to observe a minute’s silence for victims of the Israel-Hamas conflict during a recent match at Wembley.
On November 23, 2023, at 06:09 AM ET, an image featuring the lit Wembley Stadium arch was captured by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images. The Football Association (FA) of England has a history of illuminating the arch in support of various social and political causes, including the LGBTQ+ community. However, a source within the governing body informed Reuters on Thursday that the FA is unlikely to continue this practice in the future.

This decision comes after the FA faced criticism for choosing not to light up the arch in blue and white in solidarity with Israel following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7. The British government publicly reprimanded the FA for the choice.

In the past, the 133-meter high steel structure has been illuminated in the colors of Ukraine’s flag after the country’s invasion by Russia, as well as in the colors of France and Turkey following attacks in Paris and Istanbul. However, moving forward, the Wembley Stadium arch will only be lit for football and entertainment-related purposes, and is not expected to be utilized for causes and campaigns supported by the FA.

Instead of lighting up the arch, the FA opted to hold a minute’s silence for the victims of the Israel-Hamas conflict before England’s friendly match against Australia at Wembley on October 13.

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