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The Cambridges

Veterans ask Prince William to step in over FIFA poppy ban

Several veterans have suggested that Prince William step into the furore that has been stirred up by FIFA not allowing Scotland and England to wear poppies even on armbands during the forthcoming international between the two countries. The stance of FIFA, that a poppy is a political, commercial or religious symbol and therefore in breach of their rules. This has quite correctly stirred up a hornet’s nest in both England and Scotland, and the decision has been pilloried in Parliament. It is clear that they have committed a severe public relations disaster and it needs a cool, calm head somewhere to help them out of this.

Two such veterans have been quoted in the national newspapers in the Daily Express former Guardsman Barry Martin said: “It would be great if Prince William could put himself forward. FIFA’s judgment is an absolute disgrace.” Geoff Edwards, 58, who was in the Royal Corps of Transport, told The Sun: “I fully support Prince William getting involved FIFA wouldn’t even exist if people hadn’t given up their lives.”

It was pointed out to them that what is being suggested has been allowed by FIFA in the past, whatever their current erroneous designation of a poppy is. The position of FIFA is becoming difficult, and they risk alienating, even more, Football Associations. When it was pointed out to them that they had taken earlier this year when the Republic of Ireland clearly breached the rules by referring to the centenary of the Easter Rising on their shirts, they have now decided to potentially dock points from the Republic.

At this stage, there has been no statement from Kensington Palace as to whether the Prince, as President of the Football Association, has or will step in. I do hope that common sense is brought to bear on FIFA, I have recently written articles on Remembrance where an injured soldier from New Zealand, was treated by first Canadian and then English medical staff before sadly dying and being buried in England. War may have political beginnings and ends, but with the remembrance of losses in previous conflicts across the globe by all peoples should be encouraged so that pressure is brought to bear on those in authority to realise the true human cost of war.