Federation Internationale de Football Association set to call ceasefire with poppy pushers

Posted September 26, 2017

During Armistice Day a year ago, the worldwide football federation fined England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for using the poppy on shirts and in the grounds.

Instead, the sport's administrators sought an urgent meeting with Federation Internationale de Football Association bosses to press their case, arguing that the poppy is neither a political nor a religious symbol - and argue that the ban should be ditched.

Meanwhile, Wales and Northern Ireland were fined for displaying the emblem at their stadiums, the BBC reported.

British prime minister Theresa May responded by calling the ruling "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.

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The International Football Association Board, the guardian organisation of the sport's laws, is expected to approve the amendment in early October and it is now thought that the four UK FAs will no longer need to pay fines.

The issue looked likely to be pursued in the courts at one stage after Fifa sanctioned the UK's football associations for using the poppy late previous year.

The players wore the poppy on a black armband during a World Cup qualifier match at Wembley last November.

The revised provisions from the proposal could see the poppy permitted if opposing teams and the competition organiser for the relevant match both accept its use in advance.

FIFA's relaxation of the rules reportedly states in new guidelines that "Whilst "religious" and "personal" are relatively easily defined, "political" is less clear".

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"I am pleased that it appears Federation Internationale de Football Association is finally going to apply common sense and change its position on poppies", she said in a statement.

The outcome means that players may now wear poppies providing their opponents have approved it and they have informed the match organisers.

England are expected to play Germany at Wembley in November, if they secure World Cup qualification next month.

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

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