FA moves to avoid poppy ban for England vs Scotland World Cup qualifier

Picture by PA
Picture by PA

The Football Association is in discussions with Fifa over allowing players to show support for the Royal British Legion's poppy appeal when England play Scotland.

Gareth Southgate's side host their neighbours at Wembley on Armistice Day in a World Cup qualifier.

A report in the Sun claimed Fifa had banned the two teams from displaying poppies on their shirts during the game as political statements are not allowed.

In 2011, Fifa eventually backed down after threatening to ban the England team from wearing poppies in a friendly against Spain, allowing them to display the symbol on black armbands.

An FA statement read: "We are working closely with the Royal British Legion once again this year to honour and remember the sacrifices made by those serving in the armed forces.

"In recent weeks, the FA has led remembrance discussions with Fifa to allow the England team to show its support for the poppy appeal during the World Cup qualifier with Scotland."

North East Ukip MEP Jonathan Arnott branded reports that poppies were to be banned from the match "disgraceful".

He said: “It is an outrage for Fifa to forbid them wearing poppies on their shirts because they sniffily consider it ‘a political statement’,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“It makes me seethe that they should interfere in this way. How dare they?

“Wearing a poppy to mark Remembrance Sunday is a proud tradition in this country and with the awful conflicts still raging in the world it has never been more important to show respect for those who gave their lives to keep us safe.”

Fifa and the Scottish Football Association were unavailable for comment.