This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. As such poppies have been adorned as a symbol of respect for all those lost in conflict. People on the street, old and young, have their poppy perched proudly on their coats, vehicles go past on the roads with a giant poppy attached to the front and this past weekend footballers in the premier league had poppies stitched into their kits.
In a bid to take this respect one step further the Football Association composed a letter to FIFA asking that the England squad be allowed to play with poppies on their shirts during its friendly match against Spain this coming Saturday.
FIFA, however, do not share the same passion, they said no, stating that emblems of a religious, political or commercial nature are banned from appearing on the shirts of a national team. poppy appeal.
The only problem with that train of thought is that the poppy is neither a political emblem nor is it religious. In a sense it is commercial in the fact that it advertises the Poppy Appeal which is set up in support of our troops and veteran soldiers. Yet it has become a symbol so ingrained in our society that when October turns into November we all don one without a second thought. Each news presenter appears on television with one, our politicians pin it to their suits and the fact that someone might deny us the right if wearing it is unthinkable.
Yet FIFA are denying our football team that right. Ok so I don’t follow football, it bores me and to be honest I’m sick of seeing our footballers in the news for their adulterous affairs but I do find this outrageous.
Thankfully though the FA, the Football Association of Wales and Sports Minister Hugh Robertson aren’t taking this lying down.
Robertson has written once again asking FIFA to reconsider their decision stating that ‘the British public feel very strongly about this issue which is seen as an act of national remembrance to commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of their country.’
It’s worth saying that at the start of the match on Saturday FIFA will allow a traditional two minutes silence to take place and while the team are training the day before they will be allowed to have poppies on their kit. But it still doesn’t seem right that they’ve said no to the actual match.
I doubt they mean for it to come across this way but it almost seems as if they’re disrespecting all those who have died in action by saying no. It’s an emblem that won’t offend anybody. I hope that FIFA change their mind before the match, even if I won’t be watching, it’ll be comforting to know that our players will be bearing the poppy as they no doubt lose miserably.