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FIFA Must Be Taking The Piss With Reasons For Poppy Punishment Of Welsh FA

FIFA Must Be Taking The Piss With Reasons For Poppy Punishment Of Welsh FA
By Conall Cahill Updated

The Welsh FA are the subject of disciplinary proceedings from FIFA for a completely bizarre reason.

To say that the bureaucrats at FIFA have at times in its relatively recent history been fairly detached from reality would be a gross understatement. Under Sepp Blatter's watch the organisation became a nest of festering corruption and the fact that there will actually be a World Cup in Qatar is like something out of a terrible football fiction story.

And FIFA's latest trick is to go after the Wales supporters for wearing poppies during their country's home game against Serbia in Cardiff on December 12th. In a statement on its website the Welsh FA has confirmed that FIFA has "opened disciplinary proceedings" against them with an investigation into four "incidents":

  1. Some supporters in the stands wearing the poppy
  2. A member of the armed forces was holding a bunch of poppies at the exit of the tunnel
  3. A fans mosaic depicting the poppy was displayed during the anthem of Wales.
  4. A banner depicting the poppy was also displayed by the supporters of Wales before the 
match started.

Whatever you think of the incident involving a member of the armed forces, going after the fans seems utterly nonsensical. The chief executive of the Welsh FA said that the association was "disappointed and surprised at the news", especially since they had "adhered to" the rules prohibiting players from wearing the poppy. He admitted they were "particularly disappointed that one of the charges relates to supporters in the stands wearing poppies".

One has to question the wisdom of this move from FIFA in that it could set a dangerous precedent for them to follow. Are the Welsh FA supposed to police every single supporter attending an international match at any given stage of a game to make sure no-one is wearing a poppy?

That FIFA are chasing the Welsh FA for allowing political symbols in their ground just a couple of months after disbanding its anti-racism task force perhaps gives an indication of where the organisation's priorities lie.

They have also issued proceedings against the IFA (Northern Ireland), who have responded by saying that they plan to "robustly defend" themselves if faced with disciplinary proceedings.


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