FIFA says no to England’s poppies bid

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FIFA has rejected the Football Association’s renewed plea for England players to be allowed to have embroidered poppies on their shirts on Saturday.

The FA had made a special request to FIFA for permission for the poppies to support Remembrance Day. The world body has now issued a “final statement” rejecting the plea.

A letter from FIFA to the FA sent said: “We regret to inform you that accepting such initiatives would open the door to similar initiatives from all over the world, jeopardising the neutrality of football. There are a variety of options where the FA can continue supporting the cause of Remembrance. One of them already was approved by FIFA, the Period of Silence.”

Earlier, Britain’s FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, asked for common sense to prevail. “Armistice Day is a very important day in the FA calendar, as it is with other associations, and I don’t think it would offend anybody to have a poppy on the shirts,” he said.

England will be permitted to wear a poppy on their training kit, however, and Scotland players will also wear a poppy on theirs ahead of their friendly against Cyprus on Friday night.

There is no silence planned before the game in Larnaca.