Premiership

David Cameron asks Fifa and Sepp Blatter to reconsider ban on England players wearing the poppy

Prime Minister David Cameron has asked Fifa to reconsider their decision to ban England players for wearing poppies during this weekend’s international friendly against Spain.

It is the opinion of Fifa – who have rejected two Football Association appeals to overturn the ban – that shirts should not carry political, religious or commercial messages.

Ensuring that football and politics combine this week though, Cameron has called on football’s governing body to see sense and allow the England players to pay their respects.

He said: “It seems outrageous. I hope Fifa will reconsider. The idea that wearing a poppy to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom is a political act is absurd.”

“Wearing a poppy is an act of huge respect and national pride.”

Fifa have allowed there to be a two-minute silence before the game on Saturday, while England’s players will also wear poppies on their training kit.

Another man who has a strong opinion on this issue is former chief executive of the FA, David Davies. He respects Fifa’s stance on the situation, but believes the rulings should be looked at after this weekend.

He said: “Around the world, if you didn’t have this rule, people would use it for political or religious or for personal slogans.”

“One of the first countries screaming out in protest would be our home nations. After the game the FA must campaign, perhaps with the Germans, against this far too draconian and ill-thought-through policy.”

England players are having their say too with Jack Wilshere – who is injured for this weekend’s game – taking to his Twitter page to say: “My great-grandad fought for this country in WW2 and I’m sure a lot of people’s grandparents did.”

“England team should wear poppies on Saturday. It’s the nation’s tradition and it would be disrespectful not to.”

England v Spain gets underway at 5.15pm on Saturday, while this issue is set to rumble on for a few weeks yet.

 

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