ZURICH: FIFA is rewriting its complex rules about symbols displays with the effect of clearing the British Remembrance Day poppy writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Last year the world football federation controversially fined England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a variety of poppy displays around their World Cup qualifying ties in late autumn, deeming it to be a political symbol.

England and Scotland wore the emblem on black armbands during a qualifier at Wembley while Wales and Northern Ireland were fined for displaying it in their stadiums and the FA of Wales, bizarrely, for their fans’ wearing of poppies.

FIFA is now reported to have issued draft proposal to its membership which allow symbols such as the poppy if opposing teams and competition organisers are in agreement.

The kit regulation change is expected to be approved before for November’s international games which include a friendly between England and Germany at Wembley.

Confirmation of the fixture depends on both countries avoiding the World Cup play-offs. England need to beat Slovenia at Wembley next month to secure automatic promotion while a draw is enough for Germany against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.

The original regulation was introduced over concerns about players being used for political message displays in the Middle East.

The new wording, which must be approved by the law-making International Board, seeks to tighten 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 British home nations have not paid the fines levied, pending appeals, and it is understood the sanctions will be set aside.