Federation Internationale de Football Association to lift controversial poppy ban

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.

In what must surely rank as one of its most nonsensical decisions, FIFA imposed fines on the four British associations previous year saying the wearing of poppies contravened regulations that that players' equipment should not carry any "political, religious or commercial" slogans.

Wales and Northern Ireland were fined for displaying it in their stadiums.

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

The FA, SFA and FAW all lodged appeals, with the IFA not joining them only due to there being no right of appeal for fines below a certain threshold.

There was widespread incredulity when Federation Internationale de Football Association fined England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for their use of the poppy symbol 10 months ago.

According to British broadcaster BBC, the use of the poppy emblem would be permitted if the opposing teams and the competition organizer for the match in question both accept its use in advance.

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England previously wore poppies with FIFA's go-ahead during a friendly with Spain in 2011.

England players are now expected to either wear armbands with a poppy on them or have the poppy embroidered on their shirts in the same way as Premier League teams.

FIFA's decision has to be formally ratified by the game's law-making body, the International Football Association Board, but it brings to an end the ongoing feud between the British FAs, led by the Football Association.

The poppy was worn by English and Scottish players in an worldwide in 2016.

The report goes on to claim that the IFAB, football's lawmakers, are expected to rubber-stamp the change next month.

The new wording tightens the definition of what is to be deemed a "political" symbol by the football authorities.

It is believed the fines levied against the United Kingdom associations past year will not now need to be paid.

  • Sonia Alvarado