Pearce accepts poppy ruling

Image: Stuart Pearce: Disagrees with Fifa's decision but is ready for England to move on

Stuart Pearce has insisted it is 'what is in your heart which matters' after Fifa prevented England's players from wearing poppies on their shirts.

U21 coach says ban will not detract from what is in his heart

England Under 21s coach Stuart Pearce has insisted it is 'what is in your heart which matters' after Fifa prevented England's players from wearing poppies on their shirts. Prime Minister David Cameron has called for Fifa to reverse the 'absurd' decision which is stopping the senior England team having the remembrance symbol embroidered on their match kit for Saturday's friendly against Spain at Wembley. Officials at the world governing body turned down a special request, made by the Football Association, claiming it would 'open the door to similar initiatives' in other countries. Pearce is preparing for Thursday night's European Under 21 Championship qualifier against Iceland in Colchester, an historic Garrison town. The former England captain wore a poppy for Wednesday afternoon's press conference and insisted while there was little anyone at the FA could do about Fifa's ruling, it would not detract from everyone's personal solemn thoughts. "Whether I understand it or not, you ask the question, they give a decision and you get on with it, that is the nature of it - but whether you have anything emblazoned on your shirt at the time, it is what is in your heart which matters," Pearce said.

Respect

"We would have like to have done it as an organisation and a country, but the powers at be say they don't want us to do it. "That is the end of it, but it will not diminish what is in my heart and the respect for those who have given their lives for this country. "And it certainly won't diminish any of the thoughts of the millions of people who will respect [it] over what is a very important weekend for our country in general. "It will not diminish anything in my mind or our players minds, or the majority of the country. "The question was asked, they said no, so we move on, but it does not take away any of the respect we have for the people who have fought and died in the wars."

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