Ruling on Remembrance row

Football associations fined over poppy displays

poppyFIFA has fined the four home nations for contravening its ruling on the display of political symbols during football matches.

The Scottish Football Association was fined £15,692 and the Football Association £35,308 after Scotland and England players wore poppy armbands in the Remembrance Day match at Wembley.

The Football Association of Wales was fined the same sum as Scotland and the Irish Football Association £11,769 for similar offences.

FIFA had warned the associations that the displaying of political symbols could be punishable but the FA and SFA both went ahead with plans for players to wear poppies.

Players for Wales and Northern Ireland against Serbia and Azerbaijan respectively wore plain black armbands, but their associations were punished for displays of the poppy around the stadium.

Scotland and England disputed FIFA’s application of the ban on political symbols, arguing that the poppy was no such thing.

Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, said: “With these decisions, it is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background.

“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

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