Fifa investigates Welsh & Northern Irish FAs over poppy displays
Fifa has started disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Wales for incidents including “fans wearing poppies” during a recent World Cup qualifier.
It relates to commemorations at Wales’ 1-1 draw with Serbia on 12 November.
The Irish Football Association is also under investigation for events prior to Northern Ireland’s 4-0 victory over Azerbaijan on 11 November.
Fifa is looking in to several incidents “of the display of poppy symbols”.
The FAW said the incidents included “fans in the stands wearing the poppy” and the presence of “a member of the armed forces holding a bunch of poppies at the exit of the tunnel”.
Chief executive Jonathan Ford said the FAW is “disappointed and surprised” and will “strongly contest the charges”.
“Our intention was to show respect on Armistice weekend which we feel we did in the right and proper way,” he said.
“We also adhered to the rules and regulations of the competition and the communication from Fifa prohibiting the FAW request for the players to wear the poppy symbol on the armbands or the field of play.
“We are particularly disappointed that one of the charges relates to supporters in the stands wearing poppies.”
The Irish FA said it “will robustly defend the disciplinary charges”.