October 31 – The four British associations will request permission from FIFA to wear the poppy symbol on their kit during November’s international matches to honour the victims of World War 1 and II.
The request comes after regulations were changed by FIFA who backed down and allowed poppies to be worn provided the opponent and tournament organiser agreed.
FIFA imposed fines on the four British associations last year saying the wearing of poppies contravened regulations that that players’ equipment should not carry any “political, religious or commercial” slogans.
Each nation was fined for displaying poppies during games in November 2016. England and Scotland wore the emblem on black armbands during their World Cup qualifier at Wembley, while Wales and Northern Ireland were fined for displaying it in their stadiums.
Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s secretary general, said at the time: “Britain is not the only country that has been suffering from the result of war.” British prime minister Theresa May responded by calling the ruling “utterly outrageous” and the emphasis will in future be on competition organisers to determine if a particular symbol is ‘political’ or not. In the meantime, it is believed the fines imposed last year will not now need to be paid.
The football associations of the four nations said in a statement they jointly “welcomed” the revised law.
“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 statement 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 host Switzerland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off while the same weekend in friendlies, Scotland face the Netherlands, England take on Germany and Wales travel to France.
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