FIFA has a rule: players cannot wear “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images. This is not a new rule, it has been around for decades and obviously applies to every footballing nation when it plays against each other. It makes absolute sense that on the playing field and in the stadium “there is only room for sport, nothing else.” Imagine the outcry if England were playing Russia and there were signs around the stadium with political messages, or England were playing Germany and the latter had large banners to remember the war dead from World War I. Suddenly the game would not just be about sport and politics would get in the way.
So it comes as no surprise that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s football associations have been fined various amounts for their display of poppies at recent games. Do you think they should have been?