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England to defy FIFA poppy ban

dpadpa 2/11/2016 Simon Cambers

The English soccer sides will wear black armbands with poppies on them in defiance of FIFA rules.

England will defy FIFA rules and wear black armbands with poppies on them when they face Scotland in a World Cup qualifier on Remembrance Day.

The world football governing body's rules prohibit political, religious or commercial messages on shirts and warned England and Scotland they could face sanctions if they break the rules.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the ruling "outrageous."

The FA said it would "intend to pay appropriate tribute to honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice."

The FAs of England and Scotland had asked FIFA for permission to do the same for the November 11 match, but had been told that would breach the laws of the game.

But in the statement, the FA said their interpretation of the rule was different to that of FIFA themselves.

"We fully respect the laws of the game and take our founding role on the International Football Association Board extremely seriously," it said.

"The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance and we do not believe it represents a political, religious or commercial message, nor does it relate to any one historical event.

"In keeping with the position agreed with FIFA back in 2011 and what we believe is in accordance with Law 4, para 4, the FA ... intend to have England wear black armbands bearing poppies in our fixture on Armistice Day."

Earlier, May told the British parliament it was a matter for the English and Scottish football associations to decide whether to wear the symbol on the day the United Kingdom commemorates its war dead.

"Our football players want to recognise and respect those who have given their lives for our safety and security," May said.

"I think it is absolutely right that they should be able to do so."

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