British Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the row about England’s bid to wear commemorative poppies on their shirts on Wednesday, describing a FIFA ban on the gesture as “outrageous.”
The English FA had requested to be allowed to put poppies on the England kit for this Saturday’s friendly with Spain, as a mark of respect for war dead ahead of Remembrance Sunday. FIFA has rejected the move, saying allowing it would “open the door to similar initiatives” across the world.
In comments on Wednesday Cameron has hit out at FIFA’s refusal to grant the FA demand.
“This seems outrageous. The idea that wearing a poppy to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom is a political act is absurd,” he said.
FIFA said in a letter to the FA on Tuesday that allowing the move could “jeopardise the neutrality of football.”
The governing body also pointed out that it had granted an England request to hold a minute’s silence shortly before kick-off at Wembley.
Remembrance Day falls on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the day the Armistice was signed marking the end of the First World War in 1918.