Wembley arch unlikely to be lit in support of campaigns or events in future

The Wembley arch is unlikely to be lit in support of campaigns and causes or to mark tragic events in the future.

The Football Association faced criticism last month – including from the Cabinet minister responsible for sport – after a decision was taken not to light the arch in the colours of the Israeli flag following attacks on its citizens by Hamas militants.

The Israeli government has said 1,200 people were killed in the attacks.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said on October 19 that his organisation would review its approach to lighting the arch, and the PA news agency understands it is now unlikely to be lit in future except for matters directly related to Wembley’s purpose as a sport and entertainment venue.

It is understood this will also mean the arch is not lit in relation to inclusion and diversity matters, such as being lit up in rainbow colours to support the LGBTQ+ community.

However, the FA still intends to use the power of the sport to support a range of campaigns and causes in other, meaningful ways.

The arch could still be lit in other exceptional circumstances, such as the death of the monarch or an England footballer.

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

“I recognise that 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.

“This was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make and the last thing we ever wanted to do in this situation was to add to the hurt.”

The FA was heavily criticised by a number of Jewish community groups, while Rabbi Alex Goldberg resigned from an FA faith in football group over its response.

The governing body was also criticised by Lucy Frazer, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

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