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26th-Sep-2017

FIFA scraps ban on poppies on football shirts

By AFP, London


FIFA has backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies by players in international matches as a tribute to those killed in war.
Football associations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were fined by FIFA for ignoring warnings not to commemorate Armistice Day during their World Cup qualifiers last November.
FIFA's stance -- based on a strict interpretation of its laws against the use of personal, political or religious slogans or symbols -- sparked widespread condemnation in Britain, with Prime Minister Theresa May calling it "utterly outrageous" in Parliament.
But now football's world governing body has sent its member associations new guidance, which says certain "initiatives" may appear on players' kits.
The document rules out "personal" or "religious... slogans, statements or images" but admits "political" is less clear, although it bans slogans and symbols related to political parties and governments.
It adds: "When commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered."