FIFA take action against Ireland for political symbol

ireland-fifaZURICH: FIFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for a political symbol worn during a friendly in March, a spokesperson for the world body said Friday.

Ireland’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the country’s Easter Uprising on their shirts has become more sensitive with England and Scotland locked in a battle with FIFA over the wearing of poppies in tribute to war dead.

A FIFA spokesperson confirmed proceedings had been opened against the FAI, adding: “We cannot comment further at this stage nor speculate on any outcome.”

The Easter Rising which took place in April 1916 was an Irish rebellion against British rule.

Ireland had the years 1916-2016 on their jerseys for the March 25 friendly against Switzerland.

England and Scotland have used the Ireland example in their negotiations with FIFA over whether they can wear poppies on black armbands when they play each other in a World Cup qualifier on November 11, which is Armistice Day and the traditional day for Britons to pay tribute to their war dead.

FIFA has rejected the poppy saying it is a political symbol.

A compromise was reached with FIFA to allow England players to wear a poppy armband during the friendly against Spain in November 2011, but the leadership of the world body has taken a tougher stance this time.