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Outrage over Fifa ban on England footballers wearing poppies

Calls for Fifa to reconsider its ban on England footballers wearing shirts embroidered with poppies this weekend of Remembrance Sunday increase as the international governing body reject the FA's (Football Association's) second request to overturn the ban.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron said,

"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."

In a letter to Fifa, UK Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, wrote,

"Wearing a poppy is a display of national pride, just like wearing your country's football shirt.

"The British public feel very strongly about this issue - it is not religious or political in any way."

Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) is also said to be "dismayed" by the decision and has pledged to write to Fifa himself.

In a statement, Clarence House said,

"The Duke's strong view is the poppy is a universal symbol of remembrance, which has no political, religious or commercial connotations."

In a tweet, injured England midfielder Jack Wilshere said,

"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."

Fifa dictates that shirts should not carry political, religious or commercial messages. It has endorsed the FA's decision for English footballers to wear a black armbands during their match against Spain this Saturday.

England footballers did not wear poppies in the recent past, when playing against Argentina on 12 November 2005 and Sweden on 10 November 2001.

Commenting on the furore, FA spokesman said,

"a greater focus has been given to the level of support and respect shown by the national teams over the past five years."

 "Since 2005, our clubs have all begun to wear poppies on their match shirts in domestic games for the early part of November as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives serving their country.

"The FA and England team have built very strong relationships with Tickets4Troops, Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion over the past five years.

 

"As part of this growing commitment, we wanted to show our respect and support this weekend by wearing the poppy and our players are very passionate and vocal about this."

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