Players from Israel and Poland’s Under-21 teams held an unauthorized minute’s silence for the victims of the October 7 Hamas onslaught straight after kick-off at their Friday game, after the sport’s governing body reportedly refused a request for the remembrance to be formally held.
At the start of the game, the referee blew his whistle but none of the players moved, instead standing in silence to honor the some 1,200 people killed in the murderous assault by the Gaza-based Hamas terror group.
There was silence at the stadium in Lodz as fans also honored those killed.
The Polish team was widely praised by Israeli commentators and fans for taking a stance alongside the rival team.
There was no public comment from UEFA on the matter.
Poland eventually won the game 2-1, in a blow to Israel’s bid to qualify for the 2025 European Under-21 Championship.
אופ"א לא אישרה דקת דומיה, הנבחרת הצעירה ביקשה מהנבחרת של פולין לעשות את זה לאחר תחילת המשחק. על אפם ועל חמתם של אופ"א. pic.twitter.com/n9NJBYVBZ6
— רותם שמואלי (@yort3m) November 17, 2023
There have long been complaints that those killed, raped and kidnapped in the October 7 attack are not being treated in the same way as victims of other atrocities by the cultural and sporting world, as well as the international community.
Hamas-led terrorists launched a devastating onslaught on October 7, in which they rampaged through southern Israeli communities, killing over 1,200 people, mostly civilians butchered in their homes and at a music festival. The terrorists also kidnapped over 240 people — at least 30 of them children and babies — and took them to Gaza as hostages.
In response, Israel embarked on a massive air and ground campaign with the aim of toppling the terror group’s regime in Gaza, which it has ruled since taking over in a 2007 coup.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says that 12,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war, including at least 5,000 children. The figures cannot be independently verified and do not distinguish between civilians and terrorists, and also do not differentiate between those killed by Israeli airstrikes or by failed Palestinian rocket launches.