Fifa fines England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over veteran poppy displays

  • By James Nadel

Following a lengthy investigation Fifa has fined 4 nations over the pro military display of poppies

The common or field poppy is used by the nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to commemorate fallen soldiers in all wars, past and present. The red poppy is often worn on clothing in the form of a small artificial flower on November 11th.

Fifa disciplinary committee chairman Claudio Sulser said he “fully respected” the commemorations but stressed the rules “need to be applied to all member associations. The display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else”.

England and Scotland players wore armbands featuring the symbol when they met at Wembley on November 11th 2016.

Wales and Northern Ireland’s respective games featured displays on the pitch or in the stands to mark the event.

England have been fined 45’000 Swiss francs (£35’311), Scotland and Wales 20’000 Sfr (£15’694) and Northern Ireland 15,000 Sfr (£11’770).

Whilst England and Scotland’s players wore black armbands featuring the red poppy during their games, the Welsh fans earned their country the fine by creating a giant poppy image on a white background during their game against Serbia. This was seen as particularly offensive given that British troops invaded and bombed Serbia in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Ireland were handed their fine for laying poppy wreaths and holding a one minute’s silence.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has condemned the fines and stressed her support for the nation’s to celebrate their wars in this way. A statement that was not well received by the international community.


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J.Nadel@theinternational.org.uk

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