UK nations plan to wear poppies after FIFA U-turn

UK nations plan to wear poppies after FIFA U-turn

British football authorities said Monday they will ask their opponents and FIFA for permission to display poppies on armbands in upcoming internationals as a tribute to those killed in war.

Football’s world governing body last month backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies and issued fresh guidance, which says certain “initiatives” may appear on players’ kits.

In a joint statement, the English Football Association (FA), FA of Wales, Irish FA and Scottish FA said they welcome the clarification on “what can and cannot be worn on players’ shirts” issued by the game’s law-making body, the International Football Association Board, in September.

“It was important that clarity was brought to this issue as it affects many football matches/competitions throughout the world and is particularly helpful in relation to remembrance and poppies,” the four associations said.

“In any year when there are international matches in the week leading up to and including Remembrance Sunday, it is the intention of all four home nations to seek permission from the opposition team and FIFA to display the poppy on armbands.”

Northern Ireland plays Switzerland at Windsor Park in the first leg of their World Cup play-off and Scotland host the Netherlands in a friendly on November 9.

England meet Germany at Wembley and Wales travel to Paris to play France in friendlies on November 10, before Northern Ireland go to Switzerland for their second leg on Remembrance Sunday, November 12, a day after Armistice Day, which marks the end of World War I.

Last year, all four home nations were fined by FIFA for ignoring a ban on players wearing slogans or symbols considered to be personal, political or religious.

Even before those fines were levied, FIFA’s stance had provoked a strong response in Britain, with Prime Minister Theresa May describing it as “outrageous” in parliament, and the FA said it would appeal against the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

FIFA’s climbdown, however, means that is now unnecessary and none of the home nations paid its fine.