Waiting game for Northern Ireland over poppy armbands

The IFA is waiting for a response from Fifa before deciding what to do
The IFA is waiting for a response from Fifa before deciding what to do

Northern Ireland could follow the lead of England and Scotland in wearing poppy armbands when they meet Azerbaijan on November 11.

The Irish Football Association are awaiting communication from Fifa before making a decision, while English and Scottish FAs have already said they will defy the rules by allowing players to wear black armbands with poppies on them.

David Campbell, pictured in action for Northern Ireland against Brazil at the 1986 World Cup finals, said coverage of the poppy issue would educate young people

David Campbell, pictured in action for Northern Ireland against Brazil at the 1986 World Cup finals, said coverage of the poppy issue would educate young people

When asked if the Northern Ireland team would consider doing something similar to their English and Scottish counterparts with black armbands, an IFA spokesperson said it had been talked about.

He said: “It’s obviously something that’s in the ether so it’s something that will be considered.

“We’re waiting to hear back from Fifa and will make a decision once we have received information from them.”

Meanwhile, former Northern Ireland international David Campbell said the intense media coverage of the Fifa poppy row is helping young people get a measure of the respect for the generation who made the ultimate sacrifice.

He said: “I think all the coverage has been a good thing. It reminds young people why we wear the poppy and what we are remembering.

“Footballers are looked up to and they can lead the way for young people.”

Mr Campbell, who played in England for Nottingham Forest, said it was important for players to show unity as a team. “I’m old school and I did what I was told. If Brian Clough had told me I was wearing a poppy on Saturday I’d be wearing a poppy.

“As an international for Northern Ireland you represented your country and respected your country.

“I hope Northern Ireland follow England and Scotland’s lead and wear poppies on November 11.”