FIFA – poppies a political symbol?

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football associations have all been fined by FIFA following games played during Armistace. This comes as no real surprise as all four teams acted in complete defiance of the rules….or did they? FIFA rules state “The display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. So remembering our soldiers who passed in all wars over history is political? FIFA officials stated the rules needed to be applied to all member associations. Some might say this is political correctness gone crazy, or worst case scenario, this is just plain retarded.

Between the 4 home nations countries FIFA have imposed fines totalling around 100k Swiss Francs, which for me is hard to stomach from an organization riddled with obvious corruption. England versus Scotland saw the most renegade actions whereby all players wore armbands featuring the poppy and players, spectators alike observed a one minute silence. T shirts bearing poppies were dispersed amongst the crowd and large LED screens all around the stadium were showing poppy images.

The FAs of all 4 home nations are considering a joint appeal in January 2017. Poppies are a very poignant reminder of the suffering and bravery of our former and current military personnel. Football fans, players, coaches should be allowed to wear them with pride. They certainly were up until 2016, when new FIFA president Gianni Infantino decided they were a political symbol, and therefore broke the rules.

I, like many many people, love football, but sometimes FIFA just get it so wrong. Time for a change at the top maybe?

FIFA