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.
Images: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, umbro.com, 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 the hostilities 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.