Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Poppy ban to be lifted by FIFA after talks with global federations

Football lawmakers IFAB to lift poppy ban SilverHub
Hilda Schwartz | 26 September, 2017, 00:34

World soccer's governing body ruled that poppies flouted regulations banning political, religious or personal symbols on kit and in stadiums, leading to the British nations to push for a change.

Effectively Fifa is about to de-politicise the poppy and as a result remove it from its forbidden list.

According to reports, Federation Internationale de Football Association sent out a draft proposal to its member nations last week with revised provisions that would see use of the poppy permitted on the condition that opposing teams and competition organisers accepted a request for its use in advance.

England and Scotland wore black armbands with a poppy during their Armistice Day clash in November, 2016.

A year ago the English FA was fined £35,000 for their players wearing poppies on their armbands for their World Cup qualifier on Armistice day against Scotland at Wembley.

Football's world governing body told England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales that they were not allowed to incorporate it into their kits during World Cup qualifiers previous year.

"These clarifications do not require any further ratification, as they have been approved by The IFAB's Board of Directors (body authorised to approve such clarifications, which are not Law changes)".

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The row drew criticism from UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who called Fifa's stance "utterly outrageous".

The new rule will reportedly go through ahead of England's upcoming friendly against Germany, which will be played on November 10.

"It is completely right that footballers and fans alike should be able to wear poppies with pride, as a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our serviceman and women".

Previous year the FA maintained that the Poppy - used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war - did not fall into any of these categories.

England is planning to play Germany in a friendly at Wembley around Armistice Day, assuming Gareth Southgate's side doesn't have to contest a playoff to qualify for the World Cup.

The emphasis will now be on competition organisers, such as Uefa and Federation Internationale de Football Association, to determine if a particular symbol is "political" under the new regulation.

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