FA light up Wembley arch as a rainbow in show of solidarity with LGBTQ+ community

25 November 2022, 19:54 | Updated: 26 November 2022, 01:29

Wembley was lit up in rainbow colours
Wembley was lit up in rainbow colours. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

The Wembley arch has been lit up in rainbow colours in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

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It follows a week at the World Cup dominated by a row over a rainbow-coloured armband.

Seven European nations, including England and Wales, had hoped to wear the armband as part of a year-long 'OneLove' anti-discrimination campaign in Qatar, where homosexuality is a criminal offence.

But the plans had to be abandoned when Fifa threatened them with sporting sanctions, which only started at a yellow card for the captains wearing them.

There had been speculation over whether England might follow Germany and stage an on-pitch protest, but in the build-up to kick-off in England's second match against the US the Football Association (FA) demonstrated its support for the campaign by lighting up the arch on the national stadium in north London.

England vs USA live: Three Lions take on Team USA in their second World Cup group game

The FA tweeted: "Football has the power to bring people together. It is a game for all.

"We will continue to show our support to the LGBTQ+ community – during and long beyond this tournament.

"Tonight, as the #ThreeLions take on USA, we are lighting the @wembleystadium arch in rainbow colours to show our support for inclusivity within our game. Football is For All."

Read more: Streets deserted as England fans rush home from work ahead of World Cup clash with US

Read more: England fans in crusader costumes banned from World Cup stadiums

However, the move has seen criticism by some, with one person claiming it is simply an "empty gesture".

Pride in Football tweeted: "Although appreciative of the gesture, responding with something miles away from Qatar is more a way of getting brownie points than creating change. #NoPrideWithoutAll"

England manager Gareth Southgate on Thursday said: "I think we've got to be comfortable that we know what we stand for.

"Of course, the FA take the responsibility seriously and we're never going to duck any questions, and the fact we're still talking about these issues keeps them in the spotlight."

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