Northern Ireland players refused poppies for World Cup Qualifier

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The Northern Ireland team will not wear Poppies during Friday night's World Cup qualifying match against Azerbaijan.

The Irish FA and FIFA have agreed to allow players to wear a plain black armband in a mark of respect for Armistice Day.

A minute’s silence will also be held immediately before kick off, with a card display featuring a poppy taking place in the West Stand.

Names of players connected with the association who died during First World War will be shown on the big screen.

The Royal British Legion will collect inside the ground for this year’s Poppy Appeal and a wreath will be laid in memory of the fallen.

There will be a special feature in the match-day programme on four international players who fought and died during the Great War.

A statement from the FA said: 

Chief Executive of the Irish Football Association, Patrick Nelson, said:

“The Irish FA is committed to marking Armistice Day with appropriate acts of remembrance.
“We asked FIFA if permission could be granted for the Northern Ireland team to wear a poppy on the shirt or on an armband.  Based on law 4.4 of the laws of the game 2016/17, FIFA advised that they could give no guarantee that there would not be disciplinary proceedings if the Northern Ireland team was to wear a symbol of remembrance on the playing shirt.
“As a member of IFAB, we have placed clarification of law 4.4 on the agenda for the next annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board which will be held in London in March.”

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