Fifa 'rejects England & Scotland request to wear poppies on armbands'

England are playing Scotland at Wembley for the first time since August 2013

Fifa has turned down a request from England and Scotland for players to wear armbands featuring poppies when they face each other at Wembley on Armistice Day, says the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

The two nations meet in a 2018 World Cup qualifier on 11 November, the day when the United Kingdom traditionally remembers its war dead.

SFA chief Stewart Regan says Fifa, which bans political, religious or commercial messages on shirts, is "sticking to the letter of the law".

The two football associations hope to change Fifa's mind.

MP Damian Collins - chair of the Commons' Culture, Media and Sport select committee - has written to Fifa president Gianni Infantinoexternal-link asking for the world governing body to reconsider its decision.

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.

The football associations of England, Scotland and Wales also want to know what the potential punishments could be should they decide to flout the rules.

Fifa, football's world governing body, has not indicated whether a points penalty would be under consideration.

Regan said he and FA chief executive Martin Glenn would be meeting Fifa officials on Thursday to discuss the poppy issue.

"We will be asking for their support to try to give the people of England and Scotland what they want," Regan told BBC Radio 5 live. "That is to use this match of a way of remembering people who lost their lives in the war.

"I can understand why they are doing this, but it is nothing more than a mark of respect. It is a personal choice. This is not about making some political point."

The compromise of wearing a printed poppy on an armband was brokered for England's 1-0 friendly win over Spain at Wembley on 12 November, 2011.

A spokesman for the English FA said: "We are working closely with the Royal British Legion once again this year to honour and remember the sacrifices made by those serving in the armed forces.

"In recent weeks, the FA has led remembrance discussions with Fifa to allow the England team to show its support for the Poppy Appeal during the World Cup qualifier with Scotland."

England are top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with seven points from three games. Group F rivals Scotland are fourth with four points.

The top team qualifies automatically for the finals in Russia, with the second-placed side possibly entering a play-off.

Wales lie third in Group D, behind Serbia and the Republic of Ireland.

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