England poppy ban: yet another embarrassment for FIFA

by Charlie Coffey

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

FIFA have continued their tradition of embarrassing themselves on the world stage by refusing to let England wear poppies on their shirts during their friendly match with Spain. This latest PR disaster follows on from the recent gaffes of substantiated allegations of vote fixing for World Cup venues, refusing to deploy technology to make the game fairer and voting in their bumbling leader, Sepp Blatter, unopposed for a third term.

World football’s governing body have rejected pleas from both the English FA and government for poppies, the symbol of the Royal British Legion that raises money to help those affected by war, to be sewn into the England shirt for their game against the World champions on Saturday. The sale of poppies helps to fund that worthy cause. The day before the game is Remembrance Day in the UK and other countries that fought against Germany in the First World War, on which respect is paid to those who gave their lives for the wellbeing of their country.

FIFA rules state that no political, commercial or religious messages can be displayed on match shirts, but the symbol of the poppy is none of these. It is military related but it’s hardly war propaganda. It is merely a symbol of respect for heroes passed. War may or may not be necessary depending on the circumstances, but regardless of your opinion on that, raising money to help those injured or otherwise damaged by war is charity, and not politically motivated. War would be even more horrifying than it already is if charities such as the Royal British Legion did not exist.

Blatter and his minions have agreed to have a minute silence before the game, which completely contradicts the reasoning behind their decision for the banning of poppies. A minute silence is more intrusive and makes a bigger deal of the inclusion of Remembrance Day than poppies do. Why allow a minute silence; an event in which respect can be tarnished by idiotic individuals who do not stay silent, but ban the harmless detail of poppies on shirts for exactly the same cause?!

This seems like FIFA flexing their muscle unnecessarily. In doing so they are losing any scrap of respect they may have had left from England, one of their major members, and no doubt of Spain and the millions of people who will watch the game. Sepp Blatter must not go unopposed any longer.

Read Charlie Coffey’s brilliant blog at my11.com.

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  • dexylongshot

    It stinks, same old FIFA. Someone should fly a big plane over the top at when we go 3-0 down and drop thousands of poppies onto the pitch. Then it will be called off and the mauling won’t count. Wishfuls.

  • http://my11.com charlie

    good idea dex. Maybe we could get in touch with the guy who had the Steve Kean Out banner trailing from a plane at the weekend!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    FIFA are a bunch of racists! They hate us because of who we are.

    Love that idea Dexy, that would be brilliant! Game is stopped at 0-0. Great result for us!

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