FIFA rules don’t allow ‘political’ poppies

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Ahead of Armistice Day, the football associations of England, Scotland and Wales are all in talks with FIFA to see if their players can wear poppies on their shirts.

FIFA currently bans any political, religious or commercial messages on jerseys and if they allow this to happen, it may set an cause political instability if some nations can commemorate past or current wars.

England host Scotland on November 11 in a World Cup qualifier, while Wales host Serbia in Cardiff on November 12.

On Nov. 11 each year across the UK huge ceremonies of remembrance are held and the poppy is a symbol of remembrance for those British soldiers who have fallen in conflict.

According to numerous reports, the respective FAs are claiming that this is not a political statement but rather a show of remembrance and they are locked in talks with FIFA over what a potential punishment may be for wearing the poppies.

The ultimate sanction would be a points deduction but it is not known if FIFA would go that length of punishment if England, Scotland and Wales were to wear the poppies on their shirt. However, it is believed that new FIFA president Gianni Infantino is more sensitive that the issues which could arise from allowing the poppy to appear on the shirts.

One idea which could have some legs is for the players to all wear black armbands in remembrance and on those armbands here could be a small red poppy. After some haggling, England did that for a friendly against Spain in November 2011.