Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn blames Fifa's new leadership for poppy row overshadowing England v Scotland match

Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank
FIFA Executive Committee Meeting
Gianni Infantino has replaced Sepp Blatter as head of Fifa since the FA's last poppy row (Source: Getty)

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn has blamed the row over whether England players should be allowed to wear poppies on the new leadership of world governing body Fifa.

The FA is set to issue players with black armbands embroidered with a poppy for Friday's match against Scotland, despite warnings from Fifa that the move would breach rules and could lead to sanctions, including a points penalty.

England players wore similar armbands in 2011 without incurring punishment. Fifa has since undergone change at the top, with long-serving president Sepp Blatter replaced by Gianni Infantino, and Glenn says their stance has changed.

Read more: England v Scotland is more arm wrestle than football match

"A couple of weeks ago we told Fifa that, in line with what we agreed in 2011, we would wear armbands – not the poppy embedded into the shirt," he said.

"Unfortunately, with new personalities coming in there they felt they wanted to make a bit of a stand, which is very disappointing."

Clubs wear poppies, so why can't national teams?

Glenn says the FA will fight any sanction issued for wearing poppies and points to the wearing of poppies on club shirts with impunity as proof that Fifa is incorrectly interpreting the game's rules.

"This is a law of the game, not a Fifa competition issue," he added, speaking at a Sport Industry Sport Breakfast Club event in London on Thursday morning.

"So the fact that in England clubs are wearing poppies on their shirts is also in breach of Fifa regulations and nothing has happened about that.

"I’m very confident in our legal position – our moral position is certainly right – and there are bigger things for Fifa to worry about.

"We’ll contest it, certainly, because we believe – and we’ve had QC opinion on it – that our case is absolutely rock solid."

Scotland players are also set to wear armbands sporting poppies for the World Cup qualifying match at Wembley, which falls on Armistice Day.

Related articles