The End of the Beautiful Game


It is not often that I agree with politicians these days but I am proudly standing side by side with David Cameron today about the ridiculous ‘poppy ban’ that FIFA have placed on the England football team. To consider the wearing of a poppy as a political statement is absolutely absurd. FIFA might as well ban the singing of the national anthems before each game if they are so concerned with political neutrality. The wearing of a poppy is an act of respect for those who have given up their lives for freedom. Our freedom.

A statement released from FIFA state that allowing the players to wear poppies on their football shirts will open the way for similar initiatives across the world, thereby endangering the apparent neutrality of football. If that is the case and the ban continues, will that not open the way for further initiatives? What other ban will there be? Are we going to ban Christmas because it is a religious holiday and may offend non-Christians? What about Halloween with its pagan origins? What if Christians claimed to be offended, would the holiday be banned too?

If they are to have a one minute silence before the game, thereby ‘forcing’ Spain to do the same – how different is it to wearing a poppy?  Does FIFA not care that the British population will be offended by the ban? That the servicemen and women will not be offended? What about the families who have lost their loved ones in our country’s fight for freedom?

I have German members of my family who are not offended in the slightest by me wearing a poppy. My husband is Iranian and he wears his poppy with pride, as did my father. My husband even travelled to Iran wearing his poppy. His Iranian and German family were not offended by this but interested, impressed, respectful.

The wearing of a poppy and the observance of Remembrance Day is ingrained in the British psyche. Following the atrocious summer riots in London (which were broadcast across the world), how can FIFA take away a reason to be proud of our country? I would not be offended if the Germans publicly remembered their war dead. Why should they not be given a human right to do so? Why are our rights continually taken away from us?

In banning the poppy, FIFA has made it a political symbol. Football used to be called The Beautiful Game, it’s such a shame that FIFA has now destroyed that. In World War One when the guns stopped, the ‘beautiful game’ bought England and Germany together side by side. FIFA has now weakened the bridge that was built that day. The only way to strengthen it is to release the ban. To give us our freedom back… Lest we forget.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruby slippers
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 20:18:34

    When I heard this on the news this morning it cemented my complete hatred of football. X

    Reply

  2. alphabetgames
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 12:37:01

    Thank you for your comment. I agree with you. FIFA has given football a bad name. Although players are now allowed to wear poppy’s embroidered on their black armbands, I fear the damage has been done. x

    Reply

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