Football NewsTuesday 1st November 2016

Football: FIFA bans England and Scotland players wearing poppies in World Cup qualifier

Football: FIFA bans England and Scotland players wearing poppies in World Cup qualifier

England and Scotland footballers will be banned from wearing poppies on their shirts in their upcoming World Cup qualifier because the symbol is considered by world footballing body FIFA to be a political statement, it has been reported.

The teams will play in the crunch qualifier on Armistice Day, 11 November, at Wembley Stadium. But Fifa bans teams from sporting commercial, political or religious symbols on players' shirts and the poppy would fall under that restriction, the Sun reported.

The paper has the backing of the Royal British Le­gion in lobbying for the FA to push for the poppy to be allowed to be worn by the players in the match.

The Royal British Legion said: "We see no reason why the poppy should be banned as it is not a political symbol."

Falklands veteran Simon Weston told the newspaper: "The FAs of both ­Scotland and England should stand up and be counted.

"Both those countries took part in both World Wars and should take the lead. They should pay any fine Fifa has to give them. This is not a political gesture."

 

FIFA has not issued an official statement on the ban but has confirmed that it was "in contact with the FA over the issue".

The Football Association (FA) is in talks with the world football body on how the English and Scottish players can pay their own tributes.

Before the match, England players will visit a war memorial and poppy sellers will be in the stands. They hope to have a rendition of the Last Post played as well as a two-minute silence.

In 2011, then Prime Minister David Cameron, FA president Prince William and the FA called on FIFA to allow England shirts to have an embroidered poppy for a game against Spain.

Fifa refused but allowed England players to wear black armbands and lay a wreath on the pitch during the national anthems.

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