LONDON: The Football Association has found itself in an unseemly squabble over a wish for England players to wear poppy symbols on their shirts for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Wembley on Armistice Day writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
World governing body FIFA – for sensible cross-board, cross-culture reasons – bans the display of political, religious and personal messages on kit, including shirts.
Players wore a poppy symbol on armbands as an agreed compromise during England’s 1-0 friendly win over Spain at Wembley on November 12, 2011.
However Stewart Regan, ceo of the Scottish Football Association, said in an interview with BBC that this time around FIFA had indicated it would be sticking to the letter of the regulatory law and that even the armband option had been ruled out.
Apparently being able to stage a ceremonial recognition before kickoff, including a silence, has been judged inadequate by both England’s governing body but also the SFA.
The FA had sought guidance on what punishment it might incur if it put its players in FIFA’s disciplinary firing line. The ultimate sanction would be a points deduction but this would be highly unlikely,
An FA spokesman said: “We are working closely with the Royal British Legion once again this year to honour and remember the sacrifices made by those serving in the armed forces.
“In recent weeks, the FA has led remembrance discussions with FIFA to allow the England team to show its support for the Poppy Appeal during the World Cup qualifier with Scotland.”