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25th Jun 2018

England fans warned that pro-Brexit chants could be punished by FIFA

Many have dubbed England vs Belgium as the 'Brexit derby'

Reuben Pinder

FIFA have taken a firm approach to clamping down on any political expression

England fans have been warned that any pro-Brexit chanting during their game against Belgium on Thursday will not go unpunished by FIFA.

FIFA have strict rules that forbid “displaying insulting or political slogans in any form”. Football’s governing body has informed the FA that they will be sanctioned if England break these rules during the World Cup.

FIFA issued this preemptive warning due to the fact that the game between England and Belgium on Thursday will be the first between the two nations since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

Since the vote, tough, attritional negotiations have taken place between Westminster and Brussels. Consequently, many have dubbed the match the ‘Brexit Derby’.

Pro-Brexit chants from England fans were first heard at Euro 2016 when fans were filmed singing “F*** off Europe, we all voted out”, but there has been no evidence of such chants at the World Cup so far.

However, England fans do have a history of singing politically provocative songs at matches, such as the infamous ’10 German bombers’ chant.