Posted: Thu 10th Nov 2016

Wales FA say they’ll wear black arm bands against Serbia but no poppy.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 10th, 2016

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has issued a statement in the run-up to this Saturday’s World Cup Qualifier against Serbia in Cardiff.

FIFA, Football’s governing body rejected a request by Wales to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands.

Both England and Scotland teams are set to defy FIFA by wearing armbands with embroidered poppies to mark Armistice Day.

FIFA has a ban in place on messages displayed by teams which it considers commercial, personal, political or religious

The FAW statement says;

The Football Association of Wales and FIFA have been in regular dialogue with regards to the forthcoming Remembrance weekend.
FIFA have turned down a request made by the FAW for the Wales National Team to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands.

It has therefore, been decided that Wales will wear black armbands during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Serbia on Saturday, 12 November 2016 at Cardiff City Stadium in memory of the fallen.

[miptheme_quote author=”Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies” style=”boxquote text-left”]While the outcome of this request by the FAW had a sad sense of inevitability, it is still no less disgraceful. This shameful decision to ban the Welsh team from displaying the poppy flies in the face of our values – it is an act of huge respect and national pride and it was only right that our players wanted to join in with millions of others paying their respects across the country. The efforts to reverse this by the Football Association should be commended and I’m sure our governing body will find other ways to pay respects this weekend.[/miptheme_quote]

On Wednesday (November 9), members of the squad and the British Legion took part in creating images for a portrait of Leigh Rhoose, the Welsh international goalkeeper who was killed during the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.

Two hundred military personnel will be present at Cardiff City Stadium on Friday (November 11) to join the management, squad and members of the media in a two- minute silence ahead of training on the 11th hour. A wreath will be laid on the pitch while an image of the poppy will be displayed on the stadium screens and a bugler will play the Last Post.

Prior to kick off on Saturday, a mosaic depicting the poppy be will unveiled by Wales supporters in the Family Stand and the players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect throughout the match.

Members of the Flanders Welsh War Memorial at Langemark will also be in attendance to watch the match. Two years ago, the Welsh squad and management visited the Langemark site, as well as Artillery Wood Cemetery, and strong links have been maintained ever since.

On Remembrance Sunday (November 13), a delegation of management and players will be visiting a War Memorial to pay their respects at 11am.

JD Sports are also selling limited edition Wales home shirts with a poppy print and 100% of the profit from these sales will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: “The FAW naturally wishes to respect and honour those who fought and lost their lives fighting for their country.

“As an Association we also have to respect the rules of FIFA and following long discussions with members of the FAW Council, staff, management and players, a decision has been made not to wear the poppy against Serbia.

“We felt unable to take the risk of a financial penalty or point deduction, however, as we always have done at this time of year, we will be paying our respects in other ways.”

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