Anger over Fifa poppy ban

England line up in their new home shirt before the match at Wembley.
Image: England: Shirt for friendly against Spain will not feature the poppy due to Fifa regulations

The FA are to hold further talks with Fifa in a bid to allow the England team to wear poppies on their shirts when they play Spain next Saturday.

FA plan further talks ahead of clash with Spain

The Football Association are to hold further talks with Fifa in a bid to allow the England team to wear poppies on their shirts when they play Spain next Saturday. The FA had wanted players to display the Armistice Day emblem on their kit on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, but Fifa rules mean no changes can be made to official kit. Adrian Bevington, managing director of Club England, said talks would continue on the subject over the week. He tweeted: "FA and England team want to wear poppies. A week to go to game. Further conversations this week. Fully respect the importance of the poppy." He added: "Training shirts worn by England players with poppies will be auctioned to raise money for service heroes."

Regulations

A spokesman for Fifa said: "Fifa fully acknowledges the significance of the Poppy Appeal and the ways in which it helps commemorate Remembrance Day on November 11 each year. "As a multinational organisation comprising over 50 different nationalities, the significance of this date will also be observed by many of its employees, who will remember family members too. "Fifa's regulations regarding players' equipment are that they should not carry any political, religious or commercial messages. Fifa has 208 Member Associations and the same regulations are applied globally, and uniformly, in the event of similar requests by other nations to commemorate historical events." Fifa confirmed a minute's silence would be held prior to kick-off on Saturday, but war veterans have condemned their stance over the poppies. George Batt, general secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association, condemned the decision, describing it as "disgraceful".
Don't understand
The 86-year-old, who fought in the Second World War, said: "I don't really understand it. I can't see any harm in wearing a poppy. You surely don't need rules and regulations in Fifa like this. It's so sad. "I would think about 90 per cent of the population wear them. I'm lost for words. I think it's a bit childish because, after all is said and done, if it wasn't for us blokes Fifa wouldn't be here. They wouldn't be playing football." Despite the decision the squad will wear poppies on their kit on Armistice Day when they train at Wembley ahead of the match, the FA said. The special training kit will then be auctioned for charity. A spokesman said: "The FA are proud supporters of our armed forces and we are only too pleased to recognise those that have sacrificed their lives for the nation. "The England senior team will proudly wear poppies on their training kit and all our staff and representative teams will stop to observe the Armistice Day silence." The Poppy Appeal, which is in its 90th year, is run by the Royal British Legion and money raised helps thousands of serving and ex-service men and women and their families.

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