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SFA ROCKED BY POPPY FINE

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THE Scottish FA have been hit with a £15,700 fine from FIFA for their players wearing poppy armbands during their World Cup qualifier with England last month.
Armbands were worn throughout Gordon Strachan’s team’s 3-0 defeat at Wembley on Armistice Day, despite the possibility the move could be seen as a breach of rules regarding political statements or messages.

The SFA were found to be in breach of rules and were also sanctioned for the “misconduct” of supporters.

Their English counterparts were fined a total of £35,300 – the larger amount due to hosting the encounter and also for incidents with their fans.
Their “non-approved pre-match ceremony”, where members of the armed forces laid poppy wreaths on the Wembley pitch, also incurred the wrath of FIFA.
The case was heard earlier this month with the English FA’s punishment also including a sanction over a pre-match display involving members of the armed forces.

World football’s governing body was approached by the FAs with a request to wear the armbands and reminded both about their rule which states that: “The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”

The rules also state: “Players must not reveal undergarments that show political, religious, personal slogans, statements or images, or advertising other than the manufacturer logo”.

In a statement, FIFA’s disciplinary chairman Claudio Sulser said: “With these decisions, it is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background.js104718208

“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan previously vowed to challenge any sanction, saying he believed there had been no breach of the rules and pointing to a previous example of armbands being permitted.

It is understood the association will await the full written reasons for the decision before making a final decision on an appeal.

However, it seems highly like the SFA and their English counterparts will appeal in the near future. The Welsh, Ireland and Republic of Ireland FAs were also fined and they, too, are considering taking their case to court of arbitration.
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