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SCOTLAND WILL DEFY FIFA POPPY ‘BAN’ AS SFA VOW TO THE BREAK RULE

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SCOTLAND players will wear black armbands bearing poppies when they play England in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley a week tomorrow.

The opposition will also show their respect on Armistice Day, despite FIFA insisting the ruling over “political” symbols would not be changed.

Both nations had originally planned to wear commemorative shirts in the crucial encounter in London.

According to football’s international governing body, teams must not display political, religious or commercial symbols on their kit.

It’s a ruling that was described as “utterly outrageous” by Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday as she defended the players’ right to wear special kits.

At the same time, it was announced England will wear jerseys imprinted with poppies in their autumn series opener against South Africa at Twickenham a day later – with the full support of World Rugby.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura was in London last night for a meeting with football’s governing bodies and said the ruling would remain.

The English FA issued a statement which was swiftly followed by one from the Scottish FA which read: “We fully respect the laws of the game and take our founding role on the International Football Board extremely seriously.

“The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance and we do not believe it represents a a political, religious or commercial message nor does it it relate to any one historical event.

“The Scottish FA intends to pay appropriate tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice by having the Scotland team wear black armbands bearing poppies in our fixture against England on Armistice Day.”

Samoura, the second most powerful player at FIFA, said: “Britain is not the only country that have been suffering from the result of war.

“Syria is an example. My own continent [Africa] has been torn by war for years. And the only question is why are we doing an exception for one just one country and not the rest of the world.”

Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs in Parliament: “Our football players want to recognise and respect those who have given their lives for our safety and security. I think it is absolutely right that they should be able to do so.”

And in a direct message to FIFA, which has been plagued by corruption allegations, she added: “Before they start telling us what to do, they jolly well ought to sort their own house out.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added: “It is important that people are able to mark Armistice Day, and nothing in what has been proposed should be seen as political. I hope a solution can still be found which allows the poppy to be worn.”

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