Wembley’s arch lights up with Italy’s colours. Gravina: “Thank you to the English Federation”With a friendly between England and Italy scheduled to be played this evening in London, the Football Association showed its support for our country
Friday, March 27, 2020
This evening was supposed to see England and Italy’s national teams face off at Wembley, in an international friendly to prepare for UEFA EURO 2020. But due to the emergency caused by COVID-19, the game, along with the European Championship itself, was postponed. This has however not stopped football from continuing to provide examples of solidarity and support. Tonight’s example came from the English Federation, the Football Association, who decided to light up the arch of Wembley Stadium in Italy’s colours for 90 minutes, the 90 minutes which would have seen the match between Southgate and Mancini’s teams take place. At the same time, the screens at the end of Olympic Way showed a message of solidarity in support of Italy: “Siamo separati, ma siamo insieme. Forza Italia #distantimauniti”, meaning: “We’re apart, but we’re together. Stay strong Italy #apartbutunited”.
FIGC President Gabriele Gravina said the following in light of the gesture: “Thanks to football, Italy and England have been brought closer together: I have personally thanked the English Federation President Greg Clarke for tonight’s beautiful initiative, and am moved by a sincere feeling of closeness and shared values in such a difficult time for all of Europe. Once we’re back on the pitch, both in Italy and on an international level, we’ll continue to hold dear the solidarity and friendship strengthened by this emergency.”
The initiative was promoted on the official online profiles of both the FA and the FIGC, with a mutual message to reaffirm everyone’s commitment against the virus. “We may not be sharing the pitch with the Azzurri tonight, but we stand together and united in this difficult time” was the message from England, with Italy’s reply reading: “Well said England, thank you. We'll win this match together!”