Poppies on football shirts – a very (new) British problem
Yesterday the BBC reported that the English FA were kicking up a fuss because Fifa 'rejects England & Scotland request to wear poppies on armbands'. In another yesterday, titled, Is the poppy political symbol? the BBC claims:
...British sports teams have traditionally joined in by adding a poppy to their kit.I'm not sure how it defines traditional, but here is a picture from a game played in 1999 at this time of year and there is naturally no poppy in sight.
Also in the first BBC article, Wales is also mentioned:Scotland v England on Remembrance weekend, 1999. No poppies. pic.twitter.com/hssNSTnyYC— Tom Davies (@tomdaviesE17) November 2, 2016
Separately, the Football Association of Wales says it is seeking approval for its players to wear the poppy symbol on their shirts when they play Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium on 12 November.
I would really like to know who at the FAW has instigated this. I'll be attending the match, and while I can't claim to speak for the 30,000 Wales fans and a few hundred Serbs who will be there, I'd like the FAW to consider this. During the last two World Wars there were many in Wales amongst those who fought and who conscientiously objected that held republican, socialist, Welsh nationalist and religious views quite opposite to those being expressed in this jingoistic hijacking of the wars and its victims. Those views are still held by many in Wales today, and disproportionately more so amongst those who follow the Welsh side and certainly those who attend matches. There's also the awkward matter of the Serbian civilians who were killed by NATO airstrikes just sixteen years ago, so family members of these victims of the bombings and survivors are likely to be either in the crowd in Cardiff or watching the game on TV in Serbia. What are they going to think I wonder?