#Civil Rights
United Kingdom

The Football Association have been fined £35,000 for wearing poppies during their World Cup qualifier against Scotland with other home nations also paying the price for their displays of remembrance.

Both England and Scotland defied the wishes of Fifa by wearing poppies sewn into black armbands during the match on November 16.

World football’s governing body issued the fine in relation to the display not only by “host association” but also “spectators”, adding that the FA had faced further fines due to “several cases of spectator misconduct”.

Scotland were also handed a fine of £15,700 as their players had also worn poppies on their armbands.

Unlike their English and Scottish counterparts, the Wales and Northern Ireland football teams wore black armbands without a poppy emblem. They also held remembrance ceremonies that included the laying of wreaths prior to kick-off.

Wales received a fine of £15,700 whilst Northern Ireland were fined £11,770.

In a statement Claudio Sulser, chairman of Fifa’s 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.

Wales charged by Fifa over 'supporters wearing poppies in the crowd'
“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.”

The Football Association of Ireland were also handed a fine of £3,923 for their act of commemoration over the Easter Rising in a friendly match against Switzerland in March. This instance had gone largely unremarked upon prior to the furore surrounding the home nations wearing of poppies.

Prior to last month’s match Prime Minister Theresa May labelled Fifa’s stance “utterly outrageous” whilst culture secretary Karen Bradley had urged Fifa to drop the charges.

Responding to the fine Labour sports spokeswoman Rosena Allin-Khan urged Fifa to “get their own house in order” before issuing sanctions against the home nations.

"FIFA have been embroiled in a corruption scandal, which has seen tens of millions of pounds in bribes paid out under their watch," she said.

"Rather than fining UK teams for wearing poppies, FIFA should be concentrating on getting their own house in order."

FIFA consider that the wearing of a red poppy is being Political. To those who have lost family this is most certainly nothing to do with Politics but an act of remembrance.

FIFA need to re-think their stance.

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The People against FIFA's anti-Poppy policy petition to FIFA was written by Agnes Ratter and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.