Poland and Israel players declined to play the first minute of their European Under-21 Championship Qualifying match as a gesture of solidarity with the victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
According to media reports, soccer's governing body UEFA, did not approve the minute of silence on Friday. Reuters has contacted UEFA for a comment.
Poland Israel players refuse to play first minute
UEFA refused to hold a minute of silence before the Euros U21 qualification match between Israel and Poland.In response, both teams decided not to play the first minute of the match, observing a minute of silence to honor the victims of 7th October.pic.twitter.com/XVdlOJ9hWq
— Total Football (@TotalFootbol) November 18, 2023
Israel & Poland Under 21s protested against UEFA by holding a minute silence for Hamas victims after kick-offUEFA refused to allow an official remembrance before the match, but both team stood in formation once the referee blew his whistle pic.twitter.com/1gJf1x1T2J
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 18, 2023
Hosts Poland won the game 2-1.
Israel sit at the bottom of Group D after two defeats in as many games, while Poland leads, having won all of their four.
Israeli clubs Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv will play their next home fixtures in Serbia behind closed doors after their European campaigns came to a halt due to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Israeli forces have attacked Gaza for weeks in retaliation for the assault by Hamas militants on southern Israel. Israel says Hamas killed 1,200 people and took about 240 hostages. Gaza health authorities say more than 12,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli counteroffensive.
(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)