England train for Australia friendly
The FA has announced that Israel and Palestine flags will be banned from Wembley Stadium for England’s upcoming fixtures this week amid the ongoing Hamas attacks. But there will be commemorative action to remember the victims of the atrocities in Israel when England host Australia on Friday.
The FA, on Thursday, announced plans for England and Australia to pay respects to the victims and confirmed that no Israel or Palestine flags would be allowed on the Wembley premises.
“On Friday evening, we will remember the innocent victims of the devastating events in Israel and Palestine,” an FA statement read.
“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.
“England and Australia players will wear black armbands during their match at Wembley Stadium, and there will also be a period of silence held before kick-off.
“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].
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“The British Red Cross have also launched an emergency appeal to support the people affected by the humanitarian crisis in the region, and we will promote this appeal within the stadium on Friday.”
The FA has decided against illuminating the Wembley arch in the colours of the Israeli flag despite calls to do so by prominent Jewish figures.
The leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, also applied pressure to do so, but England will commemorate the mass loss of life in a different way.
On Wednesday, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus confirmed that at least 1,200 people had died as a result of the Hamas attacks on Israel.
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The FA doesn’t usually confirm tribute or memorial plans more than 24 hours before kick-off but made an exception to simmer pressure to speak out.
England host Australia in an international friendly on Friday night as Gareth Southgate’s side continue their preparations for next summer’s Euro 2024 in Germany.
Italy then visit Wembley on Tuesday in Euro 2024 qualifying, and are currently sat second behind England in Group C, level on seven points with Ukraine and North Macedonia.
The Three Lions know a victory against Italy in a rematch of the Euro 2020 final would all but guarantee their spot at next summer’s tournament.
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