London - FIFA has backed down in its row with British
football authorities over the wearing of poppies by players in international
matches as a tribute to those killed in war.
Football associations in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland
and Wales were fined by FIFA for ignoring warnings not to commemorate Armistice
Day during their World Cup qualifiers last November.
FIFA's stance - based on a strict interpretation of its laws
against the use of personal, political or religious slogans or symbols -
sparked widespread condemnation in Britain, with Prime Minister Theresa May
calling it "utterly outrageous" in Parliament.
But now football's world governing body has sent its member
associations new guidance, which says certain "initiatives" may
appear on players' kits.
The document rules out "personal" or
"religious... slogans, statements or images" but admits
"political" is less clear, although it bans slogans and symbols
related to political parties and governments.
It adds: "When commemorating a significant national or
international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its
supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered."
It means England, or any other team that wants to wear poppies
on their shirts to mark Armistice Day (November 11), can do so, providing they
get their opponents' permission and inform the organisers of the match.
If England seal qualification for next summer's World Cup in
their next two games in early October, they are set to play Germany in a
friendly at Wembley in November and it is understood they have already been
given permission by the German FA to wear poppies.