LONDON: The British home nations will all request permission from world federation FIFA to wear poppy symbols on their kit during next month’s  international matches.

This comes after regulations were changed last month, allowing players to wear a poppy if opposing teams and the competition organiser agree to it. The four FAs, in a joint statement, said they “welcomed” the revision.

Each nation had been 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 as Fifa deemed it to be a political symbol.

World Cup playoff

Northern Ireland host Switzerland in the first leg of their playoff for the 2018 World Cup while Scotland face Holland at Pittodrie in a friendly, also on Thursday, November 9. England take on Germany at Wembley and Wales travel to France on the Friday.

The nations intend to wear a poppy to “remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the First and Second World Wars”.

The statement added: “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.

“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.”

Change of wording

The new wording of Fifa’s law tightens the definition of what is deemed a ‘political’ symbol prohibiting:

  • the commemoration of any living or dead person
  • political parties or groups
  • any local or national government
  • discriminatory organisations
  • any group whose aims/actions would offend a notable number of people
  • any specific political act/event

The emphasis will now be on competition organisers, such as FIFA or European governing body UEFA to determine if a particular symbol is ‘political’ under the new regulation.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said she was pleased that “FIFA is finally going to apply common sense and change its position on poppies”.