Wednesday, 2 November 2016

FIFA and the Remembrance Day Poppy

I'm not a great lover of football. (By football, I mean is soccer, and not American or Australian Rules Football). It is a 'sport' that has become so commercialised that it has become just another business, with overpaid executives and players. It was not always thus ... but the arrival of satellite and cable TV changed all that.

At the top of world football is FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Over recent years it has been rocked by a number of scandals related to bribery at the highest level within the sport, with the result that a large number of its top officials have been indicted of – and in some case either been found guilty or pleaded guilty to – corruption.

Despite this, this 'august' body (and I mean that ironically!) has ruled that on 11th November the England and Scotland football teams MAY NOT wear Remembrance Day Poppies on their shirts or on armbands because FIFA regards wearing them as contravening its rules

This is the today's headline from the relevant BBC Sport webpage.


According to the BBC:
Fifa has turned down a request from England and Scotland for players to wear armbands featuring poppies when they face each other at Wembley on Armistice Day, says the Scottish Football Association.

The two nations meet in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on 11 November, the day when the United Kingdom traditionally remembers its war dead.

SFA chief Stewart Regan says Fifa, which bans political, religious or commercial messages on shirts, is "sticking to the letter of the law".
I find FIFA's ruling on this matter to be very offensive. It offends me that an international body that is known to have been corruptly run at the very top for many years, feels that it can ban the wearing of something that is dedicated to the memory of millions of war dead because it rules it to be a 'political, religious or commercial message'.

I shall wear my poppy with pride and not a little humility ... and I hope that both the English and Scottish Football Associations will encourage its international teams to do so, regardless of FIFA's ruling. If they do, I might just learn to like football a little bit more.

22 comments:

  1. Bob,
    FIFA must be a sad bunch of people indeed. It sounds just as ridiculous as banning 'Easter Parades' at the Local Kindergarten - "because it may offend some Religions"....this sort of rubbish rulings by the idiotic Is wreaking the World! I could go on- but I'll refrain...Please wear Your Poppy Bob on Remembrance Day with great pride. Regards. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev,

      It takes a lot to offend me, and I try my best to be tolerant of other people's beliefs and culture. (I'd be a pretty poor Freemason if I wasn't!)

      I'm not sure who would be offended by the wearing of the poppy at an international football match between England and Scotland on Remembrance Day ... but FIFA thinks otherwise.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Bob,
      Yes- we live in an age where 'Political Correctness' is certainly out of control at a World level too... and it has been going on for decades- by FIFA deciding the banning the Poppy they themselves are being 'Political'- which is certainly hypocritical. They are the ones with the problem and they are certainly completely out of touch. I stopped watching and taking an interest in our Football- Rugby League altogether for many reasons- decades ago in fact. I've a stack of features about the Modern game which I would complain about - though I won't mention it...instead- it IS far more important to honour Remembrance Day and place this special day above all else. Regards. KEV.

      Delete
    3. Kev,

      'Political Correctness': now there's something that should be banned! It smacks far too much of George Orwell's NEWSPEAK for my liking.

      Whilst the concept was a good one (trying to educate people to treat everyone else as they would wish to be treated themselves) it has become bastardised and debased through misuse by certain groups, and is now held up to ridicule. The problem is that the baby rather got thrown out with the bathwater, and it seems to have been replaced in the minds and actions of a few by a licence to be abusive to those who are not the same as they are.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Bob, I too have little interest in football, other than when my son used to play in Little League aged 10! - but I became aware of this yesterday and signed an online petition on Change.org.
    Like you, I find FIFA's attitude offensive and its claim to judicial powers respecting a game in which 22 players kick a ball about a field ridiculous; merely an excuse to justify the 'expenses' of numerous men in grey suits.
    I hope the English and Scottish teams will show their contempt for this by wearing the armbands.
    Thank goodness wargaming does not - and I sincerely hope never will - have a governing body!
    Regards,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

      I'm glad that I am not the only person who thinks that FIFA is just plan wrong and wants the FA and SFA to show the UK's contempt for their decision.

      I also signed the petition yesterday, and hope that it will have a positive impact on the final decision that is made by the two Football Associations.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. What a load of bollocks. The lunatics are running the asylum. Regards Greg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Delta Coy (Greg),

      Brief and to the point as ever! I hope that FIFA gets the message to Foxtrot Oscar!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. This is a woefull decision just who do FIFA think they are to be so moralistic after what they have done

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Johntheone,

      This does seem to be something that FIFA should not have become involved in. Mind you, I wonder why the FA asked for 'guidance' on the matter in the first place.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Well, I am not sure that anyone from FIFA is likely to be reading your blog Bob, but they will be aware of our Prime Minister's view as given at PM Questions today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobby,

      You are right about FIFA and my blog; Sepp Blatter does not appear on my blog's list of followers.

      I suspect that FIFA will ignore what Mrs May said during PMQs today, and having just heard the inarticulate response from a FIFA spokesperson (she said something about England not bring the only country affected by war), I don't think that FIFA will change its policy.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Whatever next! This is a p.c world gone amok!
    Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      What next? England and Scotland being thrown out of the World Cup for defying FIFA ... or will a 'donation' help it get sorted?

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Good post Bob,
    I think if you follow the FIFA rulings etc, you begin to recognise a clear pattern as regards their treatment of the British FA's. After the mockery of the World Cup selections of Russia! and Qatar, England were the only country censored and that was for paying out several thousand pounds to entertain a couple of the FIFA representatives which we actually declared. Then of course we were fined for our supporters being attacked by Putin's well trained thugs in France. To be honest it would be far better if we withdrew from the next two tournaments in protest against the way the selections were made, and the fact that neither were then taken away from the respective countries who clearly used very illegal means to secure them.The Poppy scandal is just another means to teach the country a lesson for having the temerity to actively pursue their corruption courtesy of the excellent Sunday Times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robbie Rodiss,

      I think that your suggestion is an excellent one ... but I doubt that most UK football fans would support it.

      In my opinion FIFA should be wound up and replaced by a new international organisation that has stringent ethical management policies that are enforced.

      FIFA has been corrupt for years, and that corruption predates the initial election of Sepp Blatter. The problem was that knowing that it was corrupt and proving it (or doing anything about it) were two very different things, and it wasn't until the US pursued the matter that the Sunday Times allegations were taken seriously by people outside the UK.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. The action of FIFA does seem a bit petty. What I don't understand, though, is why England and Scotland thoufght they needed FIFA's permission. Remembering war dead is not political, not commercial and not religious. I just don't 'get' it.

    Ozzy Rules is known in that country (well, specifiacally New South Wales, simply as 'Rules'. It is actually fairly similar to Gaelic football. The two are probably the most action packed 'football' games there are. 'Football' used to be rugby in New Zealand, but these days 'League' and 'Rugby' are the names by which these two codes are more popularly known. I don't think you hear the word 'football' these days...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I don't know why the FA and SFA asked FIFA about the wearing of poppies. It may well be part of some 'plan' to put pressure on FIFA's leadership or to engineer some sort of confrontation with them, although I cannot work out why they would wish to do so.

      Whatever the reason, it has become a major news item in the UK media, and was brought up at today's Prime Minister's Question Time in the Commons.

      Association Football (or soccer) is generally referred to as 'football' in the UK. For some reason it is thought of as our national sport, even though more people play darts or go fishing than play in football teams.

      Personally I preferred to play Rugby. (Union as I gave up way before players were allowed to play both.) My wife made me give up after I was brought home with nine stitches in my forehead as a result of a clash of heads in a ruck. I was nearly forty, and well past my prime, so it wasn't too difficult to give up.

      I've never tried Gaelic or Ozzy Rules football, but I suspect that I might have enjoyed playing them.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. I'm a little offended that FIFA would schedule a match on November 11.

    Seriously - the poppy reminds us that war is a terrible thing that has cut short far too many young lives. That's not political, that's being decent human beings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat G,

      Scheduling this match on that day does seem to be rather insensitive on the part of FIFA ... but the people who run international football seem to live in a bit of a bubble, without much regard for what goes on in the real world.

      The poppy is worn as a sign of remembrance and is sold to raise money for charity ... neither of which seem to be counter to the criteria laid down. FIFA is threatening to deduct points from both teams if the players wear poppies ... but have yet to deduct points from the Irish team, which wore embroidered logos and words on their jerseys to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising. The latter is not - apparently - a political statement.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. Bob, some very very sensible things said here by you and others on this issue. I, also, could not care less about football but this looks politically motivated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Legatus Hedlius,

      Thanks for your very supportive comment, I agree about this seeming to be a politically motivated decision by FIFA, and it may be related to the role played by the British media in the uncovering of the corruption at the top of the organisation.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete