Wales to play in plain armbands after Fifa rejects poppies request

Wales players wore poppies on their armbands in the 2011 friendly win over Norway

Wales players wore poppies on armbands in their 2011 friendly win over Norway

Fifa has rejected a request from Wales to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

Wales will wear black armbands instead, while fans at Cardiff City Stadium will form a poppy mosaic before kick-off.

Football’s world governing body Fifa prohibits any political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.

But England and Scotland will defy Fifa’s ban on players wearing poppies in their match on Friday.

Both football associations will let players wear black armbands with poppy emblems and are willing to accept any punishment.

Football Association of Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford: said “The FAW naturally wishes to respect and honour those who fought and lost their lives fighting for their country.

“We felt unable to take the risk of a financial penalty or point deduction. However, as we always have done at this time of year, we will be paying our respects in other ways.”

Members of the Flanders Welsh War Memorial at Langemark will be in attendance at the match as invited guests of the FAW.

A delegation of Welsh management and players will also visit a war memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

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