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23rd Nov 2016

Fifa charge Wales FA over “some supporters in the stands wearing the poppy”


Rob Burnett

Fifa have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Wales for infractions of their rules – including “fans wearing poppies” at a match.

The charge relates to the 2018 World Cup qualifier Chris Coleman’s men played against Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium on November 12.

The Wales players – who drew 1-1 with Serbia on the night – did not wear poppies on their shirts for the match, but there was a poppy banner displayed before kick off and incredibly, Fifa have also complained about some fans in the crowd wearing the symbol.

The FAW said the incidents Fifa are investigating include:

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

Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the FAW said: 
“Naturally as an association we are disappointed and surprised at the news. Our intention was to show respect on Armistice weekend, which we feel we did in the right and proper way.

“We also adhered to the rules and regulations of the competition and the communication from FIFA prohibiting the FAW request for the players to wear the poppy symbol on the armbands or the field of play.

“We are particularly disappointed that one of the charges relates to supporters in the stands wearing poppies. Naturally as an association we will strongly contest the charges.”

The case will be heard by Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee on 9 December 2016.

It’s fair to say there was not much support for Fifa on social media…

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