FIFA, which has recently been proved to be one of the most corrupt governing sports bodies in the world, has managed to outrage just about the whole population of Great Britain and several other nations around the world by refusing to allow the English national soccer team to honor its war veterans.
The outcry comes after FIFA has told England their players won’t be able to have poppies sewn into their shirts for their upcoming game against World and European Champions Spain at London’s Wembley Stadium on Nov. 12. The poppy is a symbol of honor and remembrance for all of those who fought and all those who died in the line of duty since the First World War.
In Britain and many Commonwealth countries Nov. 11 is known as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, or Poppy Day. In America, a similar occasion is known as Veterans Day. World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. In Britain, the second Sunday in November is also used to honor veterans and is known as Remembrance Sunday. Along with holding two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day, most Britons also attach a small red poppy to the left side of their clothing above the heart.
The English Football Association wanted to honor its veterans and educate younger fans about the day by wearing the poppy. However, FIFA told the association that it won’t allow any changes to the team’s official uniform. Numerous charities and war heroes condemned FIFA’s decision on Nov. 4 and reminded the soccer body that it wouldn’t be in existence if it wasn’t for the men and women who fought for freedom.
FIFA said it won’t allow any changes to the uniform as other countries would then want to do the same thing when commemorating special events. Many soccer fans see it nothing more than a childish act by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who doesn’t like the fact that the English FA often questions the way his organization is run. Some Britons have said the team should defy the ruling and point out that many teams wear black arm bands when commemorating the deaths of certain people. They don’t understand why a poppy can’t be worn on an armband.
FIFA has no power over the English Premier League though and all 20 of its teams are wearing poppies on their sweaters until Remembrance Sunday. Last year the IRB, which is the governing body for world rugby, didn’t have a problem when both the English and Australian national teams honored their Armed Forces by having poppies sewn into their shirts during a game.
The Poppy Appeal started back in 1921 as a way to raise money to support the charity work done by the Royal British Legion and to pay respect to everybody who sacrificed themselves in the fight for freedom. The English team will wear uniforms with poppies on them in training sessions and will then auctioned them off for charity.