- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

FIFA, the international regulatory body which governs World Cup soccer, rejected petitions by national teams for England, Scotland and Wales asking that they be allowed to wear poppy armbands during qualifier match play in November, BBC reported Tuesday.

England and Scotland face off on the pitch on Nov. 11 while Wales plays Serbia on Nov. 12. Northern Ireland also plays Azerbaijian on Nov. 11, but it appears that national team was not part of the petition to FIFA.

“I can understand why they are doing this, but it is nothing more than a mark of respect,” said Scottish Football Association chief Stewart Regan, reported the BBC. “It is a personal choice. This is not about making some political point.”

FIFA already forbids the wearing of unapproved symbols on team uniforms and can deduct points from teams for doing so.

Brits wear poppy lapel pins throughout the month of November as a mark of respect to honor the nation’s fallen military heroes, and the Royal British Legion holds an annual Poppy Appeal fundraiser in November to benefit military veterans, by asking for a small donation in return for a free paper poppy pins.

The Poppy Appeal dates back to the Legion’s founding in 1921.

“Contrary to popular belief, the poppy isn’t a symbol of death or support for war or a political or religious statement,” said The Sun newspaper in an explainer piece Monday headlined “Why do we wear poppies on Remembrance Day, when should we put them on and where can I get one?”

In addition to Armistice Day, the United Kingdom will hold its annual Remembrance Sunday on Nov. 13. On Remembrance Day the Queen, the Prime Minister and various other dignitaries lay wreaths at the Cenotaph war memorial in London.

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