Saturday 21 September 2019

Germany will join England in wearing poppies for Wembley friendly

Ben Rumsby

Germany have agreed to join England in wearing black armbands bearing poppies for their friendly on Friday.

The Football Association confirmed its German counterpart, the DFB, has not only agreed to allow it to commemorate Armistice Day during the match at Wembley, but will do so as well.

Great Britain and Germany were the primary antagonists during the First and Second World Wars, during which millions lost their lives.

The FA was controversially fined by Fifa last year for displaying the poppy during England’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland, despite having done so previously without sanction.

That saw a row break out which in September resulted in a climbdown by the game’s world governing body, which agreed to relax rules banning political symbols during matches.

The FA still required the permission of England’s opponents to display the poppy, which it managed to secure.

Chief executive Martin Glenn said: “Remembering and commemorating the men and women who have served this country is ingrained in our nation. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice and we will be honouring them, both on and off-the-pitch, for our match against Germany. I would like to thank the DFB for also agreeing to wear the poppy for the match, in a show of solidarity and unity at this important time.

DFB president Reinhard Grindel added: “I positively welcome the decision to allow both the English and the German national teams to wear poppy armbands, because these are not about political propaganda in any way!

“They're about remembering the kind of values that were kicked to the ground in two World Wars but are cherished by football: respect, tolerance, and humanity.”

Friday’s commemorations will also see a replica of ‘The Truce’ statue, which depicts the historic World War I ceasefire where peace and games of football broke out between English and German troops on Christmas Day in 1914, on temporary display beside the Bobby Moore statue at Wembley.

The FA and DFB also plan to commemorate Armistice Day in a number of other ways:

  • RAF, Army and Navy representatives will lay wreaths prior to kick-off
  • A period of silence will be held before kick-off and after the national anthems
  • For the period of silence, the Wembley Stadium arch will be lit in red and ‘Football Remembers’ will be displayed on the stadium screens
  • A banner parade, involving representatives from the military, will take place inside the stadium before kick-off
  • There will be Poppy and St George’s flag t-shirt layouts for fans in the east and west stands respectively
  • Poppy sellers will be at Wembley in the Fanzone, concourses and on Olympic Way

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also plan to wear armbands bearing poppies during their international fixtures this week.

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