Fifa denies England & Scotland poppy ban at Wembley

Fifa says it has not banned the display of poppies by England and Scotland footballers, insisting any such claim is a “distortion of the facts”.

Both England and Scotland asked to wear black armbands bearing a poppy during their World Cup qualifier at Wembley on Friday, which is Armistice Day.

Rules forbid “political” statements on shirts and Fifa says it does not have the power to grant such requests.

Northern Ireland and Wales will wear plain armbands in their fixtures.

Fifa says it has reminded the four football associations of the rules – though the FA of Wales said Fifa “turned down a request for the Wales national team to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands”.

England Under-21s wore poppies on black armbands during their win over Italy on Thursday night.

Football’s rules are laid out by the International Football Association Board – which is made up of the four British FAs and Fifa. Any breach of the rules is dealt with by Fifa’s disciplinary committee – which Fifa says is an independent body.

It added it could not pre-judge what symbols would constitute a breach of rules.

Fifa said that when contacted by the four FAs about wearing poppy symbols, it “reminded them about law four” – which states players are not allowed to wear “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images”.

The sport’s governing says it “reiterated” to the FAs that “only the independent disciplinary committee can decide” if the rules have been broken and what sanction should apply.

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