November 11th, 2011

Remembrance Day: Poppy Prohibition

Theo Walcott will be wearing these specially embroidered boots for England’s fixture against Spain on Saturday. Image via Facebook.

It could have been a rough week for John Terry. Fabio Capello’s decision to include his captain in the squad against Spain and Sweden in the upcoming international friendlies was gearing up to be the talking point of the build up. In light of recent events, it’s unlikely that the Chelsea man would have come out unscathed.

Luckily for him, a little known FIFA directive involving shirt embroidery was about to blow the sock-challenged one right out of the headlines.

Images: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth,, Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

As you guys probably know, Remembrance Day is a big deal in UK Commonwealth countries. November 11th 1918 was the day that the Armistice was signed that brought an end to theĀ hostilitiesĀ of World War I. Every year on that date, people stop what they are doing at 11am and take part in two minutes silence to show respect for those who died in that war and those since.

In recent years, UK football clubs have taken to wearing an embroidered poppy on their shirts on game days around November 11th. It was intended that England and Wales would continue this tradition for their Saturday games vs. Spain and Norway respectively.

That is until FIFA refused to authorise the shirt embroidery on the grounds that “accepting such initiatives would open the door to similar initiatives from all over the world, jeopardising the neutrality of football.”

The decision was met with incredulity in most quarters, including among the England squad themselves. It quickly became clear that FIFA were not going to concede the point and despite intervention from Prime Minister David Cameron and even Prince William, England and Wales will not be wearing poppies on their shirts. They will however, be permitted to wear a black armband with a poppy on it.

Regardless, the best part of this whole story for us is the methods the FA and England players have devised to show their respect for the veterans. Although Joe Hart stated in a press conference yesterday that the players would not have defied the ban specifically, Theo Walcott (lead image) and Ashley Cole (left) will be wearing boots with a small poppy embroidered onto them for the game, while England’s kit will feature the poppy during Friday’s training session.

Jack Wilshere tweeted his thoughts on the matter this morning, Kickettes. He said “Thank you to all the soldiers who fought for this country to give us the life we have today! Never forget what you done for us!

With all the shenanigans in the game, it’s sometimes hard to remember what’s really important. Other times, not so much.

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9 Responses to “Remembrance Day: Poppy Prohibition”

  1. ArsenalFiesta says:

    Im thankful to be a canadian too!!

  2. Kat22 says:

    As a German who has a Brit as her better half I whole-heartedly support the Poppy Appeal and the Royal British Legion. I think it's a disgrace FIFA did not allow the England players to wear poppies on their shirts – the poppy isn't a political symbol; it's a way to honour the fallen and all those who continue to serve. All over the world.

    • xoWinnie says:

      thank you! FIFA are a bunch of tightasses who will only intervene in matters no one cares about.

      • littlegreenpea says:

        agreed. the poppy appeal should be honored, as should the brave people who fought for their countries (since it was not just england, or even the uk) and I don't see why FIFA should stand in the way of it. I will gladly support england AND the entire commonwealth if they choose to wear poppies on their shirts.

  3. Rossanera says:

    It IS hard to remember the important things sometimes. On that note – because Remembrance Day is celebrated not aonly in the UK but everywhere in the Commonwealth – as I honour those brave Canadians that gave their lives to freedom, I am thankful. I am thankful that Canada gave refuge to my family after our nation had been ravaged by war. I am thankful I myself have never known the horrors of war. I am thankful to be Canadian. And I am thankful for the men and women who continue to risk their lives in service of the country I love so much. #lestweforget

    • MH from NH says:

      and here in the US too, albeit as Veterans' Day. and yes, we have poppies too; the ones sold by the VFW go to supporting the families of veterans.

      • Rossanera says:

        I didn't know that! So glad I do now! I was really upset when I lost my poppy. Now I know I can find them here, too :)

    • Raincitygirl says:

      *hugs fellow Canadian*

      That's absolutely lovely. Reading stuff like this makes me happy my parents chose to move to Canada when I was a baby.

      • xoWinnie says:

        *tear tear tear* fellow Canadian immigrant child here!
        although i was hardly a baby when i moved here,
        i agree with everything you said Rossa, and you as well Raincitygirl
        so proud to be Canadian :)