ZURICH (Reuters) - The Football Associations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have been fined for displaying poppies during World Cup qualifiers last month, soccer’s governing body said on Monday.
England, who said they would appeal, were fined 45,000 Swiss francs ($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 Sunday 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,” said Claudio Sulser, head of FIFA’s disciplinary committee.
”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.”
In a separate case, Ireland were fined 5,000 Swiss francs for using a logo commemorating the centenary of the Easter rising during a friendly against Switzerland in March.
“We note the decision by the FIFA disciplinary committee which we intend to appeal,” said the English FA on Twitter.
“As a first step we have written to FIFA requesting the grounds for the decision.”
($1 = 1.0266 Swiss francs)
Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond