Fifa urged to drop poppy action against Scotland and England

Fifa should 'see sense' and drop disciplinary action against England and Scotland for wearing Remembrance poppies during their World Cup qualifier on Armistice Day, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said.
Close up of a man holding a poppy tribute. 
 Picture: Ian RutherfordClose up of a man holding a poppy tribute. 
 Picture: Ian Rutherford
Close up of a man holding a poppy tribute. Picture: Ian Rutherford

There was a widespread outcry after the FA’s of both countries were charged by football’s world governing body for wearing armbands decorated with the poignant symbol during their November 11 game at Wembley.

Conservative MP Mrs Bradley said she had been at the national stadium for the match and been pleased to see players with poppies on to commemorate Britain’s war dead.

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She told told BBC 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics: “I urge FIFA to see sense in this and withdraw the threat of sanctions.

“It seems that wearing a poppy, if a player wants to wear a poppy, they should be able to do so, as should fans.”

Fifa’s tough stance on the poppy, as part of its Rule 4.4 concerning political, religious or commercial messages, caused a furore in the build-up to, and over, Armistice weekend.

England and Scotland defied the governing body in their game, which England won 3-0.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Irish Football Association (IFA) have also been charged.

The FAW revealed it had been charged over supporters wearing poppies in the crowd during the Wales v Serbia match on November 12. The IFA is also under investigation for fans wearing poppies at Northern Ireland’s game against Azerbaijan on November 11.

All four nations now face the possibility of a fine, while in theory even a World Cup qualifying points deduction is possible.