So FIFA backed down over the Poppy row? Not exactly what actually happened was a diplomatic agreement was made after some protest and subsequent discussion. FIFA’s rules are not actually broken and the FA supported by its chairman the Duke of Cambridge, got acknowledgement that their voice was heard. Poppies will be present on the black armbands that they England players will wear and Spain will also respect our position. Poppies will be everywhere else in the stadium and on the tracksuits and everyone is now calm and happy.
The FA have even agreed to give 500 tickets for the match to members of HM Forces and a further 1000 for the game against Sweden. Not wishing to be picky, but that really does not seem to be much. It’s a gesture.The FA and the players could make a sizeable donation to The Poppy Appeal, match fees and ticket income, or food , programme, sponsor receipts and there is still time to reconnect with the people by doing something radical. I fully appreciate the FA is all but skint, and yes future precedents could be set, but so would vital examples and those are what we need in these testing and troubled times. We all need to see beyond ‘the money’ and reset so many ‘games’ and this would be a fantastic step in the right direction. If one of the many lasting legacies of
the fallen from all wars is to ‘nudge’ those lucky enough to earn and live well to think about the wider society they live in, then the spirit of togetherness can be rekindled and progress will be made.
It is also a lesson that we all have the right to protest if we feel that we are being wronged, individually and as a community. That protest should always be peaceful but it should be listened to. Our Prime Minister felt it right to protest to FIFA and I hope our Government will always listen to those who make their disaffection heard, all be it in a peaceful manner. Real progress can only ever be made through a proper conversation in my experience.