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FIFA Remembrance Fiasco


carrickblue

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Just want to register my disgust at the decision by FIFA not to allow our home nations to wear even an armband to acknowledge the sacrifice of the thousands who fought for liberty and freedom across the world in both world wars and later conflicts. I hope English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish fans mark remembrance in a solemn and dignified way at each of their matches next week. 

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Spot on Carrickblue. Like you I am disgusted by FIFA's decision. FIFA's view is that players aren't allowed to wear a symbol which has a political, religious or commercial doesn't, in my view, cover the wearing of a poppy. If I see someone wearing a poppy I couldn't care less what their political or religious beliefs are. A poppy is a wonderful symbol to remember and respect sacrifices and the fights against tyrannies. Like you I hope the fans of all the home nations mark Remembrance Day in a dignified way.

I wonder if the ban applies to coaching staff of the teams. We could end up with coaches, fans, stewards and the police wearing poppies if they wish and not the players.

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A poppy is not a political or religious symbol. It's a symbol of the awfulness of conflict and a reminder that when people seek to resolve their disputes through violence, lives and futures are destroyed.

It's no longer just an American or British symbol either. 

 

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I see international footballers getting on the microphone to deliver an inherently political message before many matches. I fail to see how a symbol of remembrance is more 'political' than that.

Also, if FIFA are against religious symbols... I seem to recall a recent Portugal kit designed around a rather prominent cross on the front. Don't remember any issues then.

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3 minutes ago, Charles Ryder said:

I see international footballers getting on the microphone to deliver an inherently political message before many matches. I fail to see how a symbol of remembrance is more 'political' than that.

Also, if FIFA are against religious symbols... I seem to recall a recent Portugal kit designed around a rather prominent cross on the front. Don't remember any issues then.

spot on - off the top of my head Brazil, Portugal, Slovenia, Serbia and Northern Ireland all carry a form of cross on their international badge and I'm sure there are many others. I've not checked but I'm sure a number of countries carry the crescent and star often used as a national symbol by Islamic countries. 

In fact in Belfast one team will be wearing the Christian celtic cross and the other the Islamic star and crescent - not a problem....

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Personally I'm not too fussed by FIFA's decision and understand their stance. 

The FA can still have a two minutes silence before kick off, do some stuff during the warm up etc. 

Frankly I'm amazed so many people are getting bent out of shape about having a logo on the kits for an hour and half. 

Just make a big show of having the players and staff wearing poppies before and after the game. 

They could give put stuff up on the advertising hoardings all around the pitch if they wanted to. 

It's a very typical British response to be so offended by being told we can't do something. 

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26 minutes ago, ForeverCarefree said:

Personally I'm not too fussed by FIFA's decision and understand their stance. 

The FA can still have a two minutes silence before kick off, do some stuff during the warm up etc. 

Frankly I'm amazed so many people are getting bent out of shape about having a logo on the kits for an hour and half. 

Just make a big show of having the players and staff wearing poppies before and after the game. 

They could give put stuff up on the advertising hoardings all around the pitch if they wanted to. 

It's a very typical British response to be so offended by being told we can't do something. 

 

It's your typical tabloid-driven moral outrage. It's not like there's even a tradition for having poppies on football shirts, it has only become commonplace in the last few years. And the fact that it is expected/demanded for all player to comply (or risk receiving abuse/death threats) means that it completely misses the point.

The last time the papers kicked up a fuss about this we ended up wearing black armbands showing the poppy symbol as a compromise. As the former director of the British Legion said at the time:

Quote

There are other ways to honour the poppy than by wearing it on a shirt… The Legion never insists that the poppy be worn or insists that others allow it to be worn. We are grateful when people wear it as a sign of respect, but the decision must be a free one – after all, the poppy represents sacrifices made in the cause of our freedoms

 

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http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields.htm

In Flanders Fields

Flanders Poppy on the First World War battlefields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”

Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery. (1)
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (source: A Crown of Life)

During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.

As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

For the story behind the inspiration for “In Flanders Fields”, see our page at:

Inspiration for In Flanders Fields

Related Topics

The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy

One of the first material poppies sold in aid of The Haig Fund .
Haig Fund Poppy

Also known as “The Poppy Lady” find out how this poem inspired the American teacher, Moina Belle Michael, to write a poem in response to “In Flanders Fields”. Discover how she and Frenchwoman Madame Anna Guérin, known as “The French Poppy Lady”, encouraged people to use the red Flanders poppy as a way of remembering those who had suffered in war, and how the Flanders Poppy became the symbol of remembrance that we know so well today:

The Story Behind the Remembrance Poppy

Essex Farm Advanced Dressing Station, Ypres

Find out more about the battlefield location where the poem is believed to have been composed on the evening of 2nd May 1915.

Essex Farm Advanced Dressing Station, Ypres Salient

Related Reading

 

 

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45 minutes ago, bluedave said:

 

It's your typical tabloid-driven moral outrage. It's not like there's even a tradition for having poppies on football shirts, it has only become commonplace in the last few years. And the fact that it is expected/demanded for all player to comply (or risk receiving abuse/death threats) means that it completely misses the point.

The last time the papers kicked up a fuss about this we ended up wearing black armbands showing the poppy symbol as a compromise. As the former director of the British Legion said at the time:

 

So the FA have said they'll pay whatever fine FIFA throws at them for wearing poppies. 

I read yesterday someone argue, rather than line FIFA's pockets with the inevitable 5 figure fine, don't wear the poppies and just make a donation to The Royal British Legion instead. 

That donation will do a whole lot more good for the poppy cause than whatever this weird FIFA protest the FA is doing insisting on wearing a symbol on the kit.  

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48 minutes ago, Drogba11CFC said:

It's the double standards that get my goat. Earlier this year Ireland had shirts commemorating the rising and back in 2014 Argentina's players posed with a banner claiming the Falkland Islands. If that's not political then I'm Abraham Lincoln.

What double standards? Fifa can't stop England 'having' shirts with poppies on, or prevent players posing for pictures. They can decide what is (and is not) permitted during a World Cup Qualifying match though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw an article on this subject online saying FIFA are right to ban the poppies and drew comparisons to something in Iran where a game was played around the time of Ashura and the Iranian FA asked fans to wear black and sing religious chants associated with the festival during the game . For me (I'm irish, I don't have any significant affiliation to the poppy but i absolutely respect what it stands for) it's preposterous to compare the two, since what happened in Iran is very different to wearing a small commemorative badge as a mark of respect and commemoration rather than the observance of a religious event. FIFA done f**ked up with this one

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