Essex

Quakers say poppy decision should be made by footballers

England player wearing poppy armband Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption England play Scotland at Wembley on 11 November in a World Cup 2018 qualifier

Britain's Quakers say the England football team should decide for themselves whether to wear a poppy in the World Cup qualifier with Scotland.

Fifa says the Football Association will breach its rules if England's players sport poppies, which it regards as political emblems, on 11 November.

The Royal British Legion has urged Fifa to think again and says the red poppy is a symbol of hope and remembrance.

A Quaker spokesman said wearing a poppy should be "an individual's choice".

Image copyright Quakers
Image caption Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain Paul Parker said wearing a poppy should be a personal decision

Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, Paul Parker, who lives in Saffron Walden, said: "Some Quakers will be wearing red poppies and some will be wearing the white poppy, for peace, some will wear no poppy and some will be wearing both.

"We have to be careful not to let the red poppy become a symbol of national pride. It is the symbol of remembrance, it is about the horror of war and we should make sure it stays that way."

He said he would "love it" if one of the players wore a white poppy.

"The important thing is that they themselves have the choice about whether or not the red poppy is a symbol they want to wear."

Fifa, world football's governing body, prohibits political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.

English FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said players from both sides would wear black armbands carrying the poppy symbol - traditionally used to remember those who died during World War One - "as a point of principle".

Related Topics

More on this story