Football: North Ireland decide against wearing poppies

England and Scotland's football's associations decided to wear the poppy despite a sanction threat from the world governing body FIFA. Photograph:( AFP )

London, United Kingdom Nov 09, 2016, 12.07 AM (IST)

Northern Ireland's players will not wear the black armbands with poppies to pay tribute on Armstice Day in their World Cup qualifier, the Irish Football Association said, news agency AFP reported.

England and Scotland's football's associations decided to wear the poppy despite a sanction threat from the world governing body FIFA. Britain remembers its war dead on November 11, which happens to be the day England play Scotland in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

FIFA bans political, religious and commercial symbols on team uniforms while playing a match. 

Northern Ireland's players will wear plain black armbands for their Armistice Day game in Belfast.

"We asked FIFA if permission could be granted for the Northern Ireland team to wear a poppy on the shirt or on an armband," IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson said in a statement on Tuesday, AFP reported.

"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."

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane said that wearing the poppies would make him "happy".

"As long as we're wearing the poppy, we're happy," Kane told a press conference at the St George's Park football centre in Burton-on-Trent, central England. "We all wanted to wear it. Being on the top or the sleeve, it doesn't matter too much. As long as we're wearing it, it's a big positive."

British Prime Minister Theresa May has described FIFA's stance on the matter as "utterly outrageous".

(With inputs from AFP)