World football’s governing body infuriated fans around the UK by fining associations for wearing the symbol in matches last season, claiming it was a ‘political’ statement.
But the scandal-dogged organisation backed down this year, allowing teams to wear the armbands if opposing teams agreed.
The home nations are to request permission to wear poppies in their upcoming internationals
The Home Nations have now put in requests with European opponents ahead of friendlies and playoffs planned for early November.
In a joint statement, the FA, FA of Wales, Irish FA and Scottish FA said they ‘welcome the clarification’ on ‘what can and cannot be worn on players’ shirts’ which was issued by the International FA Board last month.
‘It was important that clarity was brought to this issue as it effects many football matches/competitions throughout the world and is particularly helpful in relation to Remembrance Sunday and poppies,’ the four associations said.
‘In any year when there are international matches in the week leading up to and including Remembrance Sunday, it is the intention of all four home nations to seek permission from the opposition team and FIFA to display the poppy on armbands.’
Northern Ireland play Switzerland at Windsor Park in the first leg of their World Cup play-off and Scotland host Holland in a friendly at Pittodrie on Thursday, November 9.
England meet Germany at Wembley and Wales travel to Paris to play France in friendlies on Friday November 10, before Northern Ireland go to Switzerland for their second leg on Remembrance Sunday.
England were fined last season for ignoring FIFA’s ban on wearing the poppy
Northern Ireland and Wales were also struck by hefty fines for wearing the poppy
Last year, all four home nations were fined by football’s world governing body FIFA for ignoring a ban on players wearing slogans or symbols which are considered to be personal, political or religious.
Even before those fines were levied, FIFA’s stance had provoked a strong response in the UK, with Prime Minister Theresa May describing it as ‘outrageous’ in parliament, and the FA said it would appeal against the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA’s u-turn on the fines, however, means an appeal is no longer necessary and none of the home nations paid its fine.
Poppyscotland, the charity that sells poppies north of the border to support Scottish veterans, said it is ‘pleased common sense has prevailed’.
In a statement, Poppyscotland’s chief executive Mark Bibbey said: ‘The poppy is neither a political, religious nor a commercial symbol and, as we highlighted last year, the basis for the ban was flawed.
‘We are very pleased with the outcome and welcome the fact that, subject to agreement of both sides and the match organising authority, those who wish to do so will be permitted to wear a poppy armband for international matches played during the Remembrance period.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.