THERE seems to be something risible about an organisation as, em, flexible as Fifa imposing a fine on a point of principle, yet that organisation, so long the personal fiefdom of Sepp Blatter, has fined the English Football Association €41,500 for wearing poppies commemorating those who died in all wars during the World Cup qualifier against Scotland on November 11. Scotland was also fined, but their sanction is less than half that of their English counterparts.
There seems to be an unhelpful inconsistency around the political symbolism allowed in football as Fifa gave permission to the Republic of Ireland to wear a jersey commemorating the 1916 centenary during a friendly against Switzerland on March 25.
In a sport that pays Manchester United’s Paul Pogba €340,000, a fine of €4,700 — or €41,500 for England seems money well spent if it allows a national team remember its war dead in an appropriate and well-supported way. Sport and symbolism, especially in this small country, are never far apart so the decision by the FA is understandable and indeed commendable.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved