Israel and Poland’s under-21 national soccer teams played a match on Friday, but its start was interesting. No one played for the first minute of the game. They remained in their starting positions, responding to the Union of European Football Associations’ decision not to hold a moment of silence for the Israelis massacred in the October 7 attacks committed by Hamas. It’s not a good look for UEFA, but the players found a workaround (via The Guardian):
UEFA refused to organize a minute of silence before the start of the match between #Israel and Poland (under-21 team). In response, the two teams decided not to play the first minute of the match and observe a minute of silence in homage to the victims of #7October pic.twitter.com/wcwojTDBUy— Michael Weingardt (@Michael_Wgd) November 17, 2023
UEFA refused to hold a minute of silence before the match between #Israel and #Poland (Under-21 team).— AJC Central Europe (@AJC_CE) November 17, 2023
In response, both teams decided not to play the first minute of the match, observing a minute of silence to honor the victims of #October7th. 🙏🏼pic.twitter.com/U69kd6Qagt
Israel and Poland’s Under-21 players held their own unauthorised minute’s silence immediately after kick-off on Friday for the victims of the 7 October Hamas attacks.
The gesture in Lodz came after football governing body Uefa did not approve a moment of remembrance for the game for those affected in last month’s attacks.
Both sets of players stood in silence after the referee blew his whistle to start the game and no action took place for the opening minute. The players remained in their formational positions rather than congregating in a line for traditional pre-match tributes and there was silence around Stadium LKS.
Israel would lose the match 2-1. It's still baffling why UEFA wouldn’t allow this, given who was on the field. It’s almost a given.