England, Scotland, and Wales were not pleased when FIFA banned them from wearing poppies in remembrance of veterans for this week’s international games.
The first two nations, England and Scotland, did it anyway.
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Both the Three Lions and Scots wore black armbands with red poppies during England’s 3-0 defeat of Scotland at Wembley Stadium.
The match-day programme featured the poppy on the cover and the flower was shown on the Wembley screens, as FA chairman Greg Clarke and SFA president Alan McRae stood on the touchline alongside senior representatives from the British army, navy and RAF moments before kick-off.
It’s a tricky area, as innocent as it sounds. FIFA forbids nations from taking political stances during matches, and technically the poppies — used to denote fallen soldiers — fit the bill.
That said, FIFA is more concerned with the example it sets, as many nations play each other with relations far from as settled as England and Scotland (See: Serbia and Albania and the drone incident from 2014).
Now we wait to see how FIFA boss Gianni Infantino responds. FIFA could do anything from a simple fine to, as gutsy as this would be, docking points from both teams. That seems like a boat Infantino wouldn’t rock.