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Monday 27 March 2017

FAI to be sanctioned by FIFA for 1916 logo on shirt

The Ireland jersey in question Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The Ireland jersey in question Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

FIFA look like they are going to punish the FAI for placing a 1916 anniversary logo on Ireland jerseys for the international friendly with Switzerland earlier this year.

Abbotstown officials are considering their legal options after receiving notification that they could receive retrospective punishment from football's governing body.

The Irish gesture came under scrutiny as part of the backlash into FIFA's refusal to allow the players of England and Scotland to wear black armbands carrying a poppy in their World Cup qualifying match next week.

British MP Damian Collins, the head of the House of Commons' Sport Committee, highlighted the fact that Ireland got away with the 1916 symbol and claimed that it was an example of double standards. FIFA responded by looking into that matter and announcing that the Irish tribute to the Easter Rising was being investigated.

A statement from FIFA said: "We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened on this matter."

FIFA have rules which forbid political, religious or commercial messages being carried on players' equipment and they interpreted the wearing of the poppy as a breach of those regulations.

With British Prime Minister Theresa May leading the criticism of FIFA, the football associations of England and Scotland are prepared to go ahead and wear the armbands and then take whatever punishment comes their way.

The FAI have refused to make official comment but it is understood they were surprised to learn they could be in trouble. On the morning of the March 25 meeting with Switzerland, they would have presented their match jersey to the FIFA referee, with no objection raised.

They viewed the Swiss friendly as a chance to contribute to 1916 celebrations and added another element to the pre-game ceremonies when an excerpt from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic was read out.

It's believed that the FAI's legal team are exploring the issue before making any response.

Irish Independent

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