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British FAs fined over poppy displays during internationals

File picture showing fans displaying a poppy mosaic before the World Cup Qualifying European zone Group D match between Wales and Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales November 12, 2016. — Reuters picZURICH, Dec 19 — The Football Associations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have been fined for displaying poppies during World Cup qualifiers last month, world football’s governing body said today.

England were fined 45,000 Swiss francs (US$44,000) for what Fifa described as the “display of a political symbol” on players’ shirts and around the stadium during the 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley, plus crowd misconduct.

Scotland were fined 20,000 Swiss francs for displaying the same political symbol as well as crowd problems.

Wales were fined 20,000 Swiss francs and Northern Ireland 15,000 for displaying political symbols in the home games against Serbia and Azerbaijan respectively.

The matches were all played in November around Remembrance yesterday when Britain pays tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the two World Wars.

“It is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background,” Claudio Sulser, head of Fifa’s disciplinary committee, said.

“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across Fifa’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.” — Reuters