FIFA open proceedings against Irish Football Association over poppy symbol

The poppy display at Windsor Park on November 11
The poppy display at Windsor Park on November 11

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Northern Ireland and Wales in relation to the display of poppy symbols during their recent internationals.

The governing body announced the move despite the Irish Football Association and the Football Association of Wales agreeing their players would not wear poppies to mark Armistice Day during their matches against Azerbaijan and Serbia respectively.

England and Scotland defied FIFA regulations by wearing armbands featuring a poppy when they met at Wembley and are already the subject of disciplinary proceedings.

Northern Ireland and Wales instead wore plain black armbands, but it seems they have still fallen foul of FIFA rule 4.4 concerning political, religious or commercial messages.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "The Disciplinary Committee decided to open proceedings against the Irish Football Association and the Football Association of Wales in relation to several incidents involving the display of poppy symbols reported after the matches Northern Ireland-Azerbaijan and Wales-Serbia respectively."