So, FIFA have banned England players from wearing embroidered poppies on their shirts for the upcoming game against Spain at Wemberley on Saturday. Football’s governing body do not want to create a ‘provocative political precedent which would potentially cloud a future match because of historical difference.`
The England Football Association had their request for poppies to be sewn into England’s kit for Saturday’s match against the world champions declined by FIFA, to the dismay of war veterans and England’s governing body.
England`s £6million a year Manager Fabio Capello wore a poppy while watching Tottenham beat Fulham yesterday, so if he`s not bothered about it as an Italian, why should anyone else care? Also, Frankie Lamps, the player likely to captain England on Saturday in the absence of the troublesome John Terry, is apparently calling on FIFA to relax their ban.
However, a FIFA spokesperson has responded thus: ‘What would happen if England played Germany around the time of Remembrance Sunday, for example? The international aspect of the regulations gets overlooked when people want to feel it’s England against FIFA. But the rules are there in case political inference could potentially be far more provocative."
It seems the sanctions open to FIFA, if England defy their rules over this issue, include sending nasty letters to the players, fining the English FA and even expulsion from FIFA. Well, here`s a thought. If sticking poppies on shirts constitutes sticking two fingers up to FIFA then so what? It`s far more important for our football team to be seen to be supporting the nation`s proud remembrance in a way which is neither `political` nor `provocative` than it is to pander to the sensitivities of Herr Blatter and his questionable chums.
The solution for FIFA might be simple - just ban England from playing Germany any more. That way everybody wins !!