Fifa scraps ban on poppies on football shirts


FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) and French president of French football association (FFF) Noel Le ...
FIFA President Gianni Infantino (L) and French president of French football association (FFF) Noel Le Graet, shake hands in front of the trophy after the official start of the organization of the 2019 FIFA Women World Cup in France on September 19, 2017, in Paris. The competition, which runs from June 7 to July 7, 2019, will see the opening game at the Parc des Princes in Paris, while the semi-finals and the final will take place in Lyon. / AFP PHOTO .

Fifa has backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches as a tribute to those killed in war.

Football associations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were fined by Fifa for ignoring warnings not to commemorate Armistice Day during their World Cup qualifiers last November.

Outrageous 

Fifa’s stance – based on a strict interpretation of its laws against the use of personal, political or religious slogans or symbols – sparked widespread condemnation in Britain, with Prime Minister Theresa May calling it “utterly outrageous” in Parliament.

But now football’s world governing body has sent its member associations new guidance, which says certain “initiatives” may appear on players’ kits.

The document rules out “personal” or “religious… slogans, statements or images” but admits “political” is less clear, although it bans slogans and symbols related to political parties and governments.

(FThis file photo taken on November 11, 2016 shows England's striker Wayne Rooney wearing a poppy armband to commemorate Armistice Day as he plays during a World Cup 2018 qualification match between England and Scotland at Wembley stadium in London. FIFA has backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches as a tribute to those killed in war./ AFP PHOTO
This file photo taken on November 11, 2016 shows England’s striker Wayne Rooney wearing a poppy armband to commemorate Armistice Day as he plays during a World Cup 2018 qualification match between England and Scotland at Wembley stadium in London.
FIFA has backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches as a tribute to those killed in war./ AFP PHOTO

It adds: “When commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered.”

It means England, or any other team that wants to wear poppies on their shirts to mark Armistice Day (November 11), can do so, providing they get their opponents’ permission and inform the organisers of the match.

If England seal qualification for next summer’s World Cup in their next two games in early October, they are set to play Germany in a friendly at Wembley in November and it is understood they have already been given permission by the German FA to wear poppies.

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