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[英伦广角] 2016-11-19 FIFA罚款处罚英格兰和苏格兰

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England’s players and manager pause to remember ahead of their Armistice Day match against Scotland. Again did this spark more debate about poppies and remembrance in the oldest football rivalry. The squad trained for the final time without puppies on their kit, but both teams will wear them for the match displayed on black armband in defiance of FIFA. They could be fined or have points deductive for breaching a rule that bans the display of political symbols on national kit. The FA says FIFA has got it wrong. And the Royal British Legion hopes to raise 45 million pounds for its appropriate appeal has backed for them.

“I think it’s really important they are given the opportunity to choose for themselves. The fact that that football match is happening on Armistice Day itself is so important. So to give the players the opportunity to choose, I think, is the right thing to do. And we are very, very grateful for the support that they are showing.”

The poppy is synonymous with remembrance, but the symbol has become sensitive in recent years. For some a compose will show patriotism. 50 years ago, England played on November 10th and there was no poppy and no protest. Today public figures, television presenters and football clubs are criticized for not displaying them. This week, the BBC for its criticism after it put a poppy on the Cookie Monster in an attempt to avoid giving offense

The Cenotaph  will be the center of a nation wide two-minute silence, a profound gesture of gratitude and respect to those who lost their lives in conflicts. But the debate on football and poppies has raised a question as to whether not wearing one of these amounts to disrespect and whether remembrance can still be a personal private choice.

Also Michael Morpurgo has written movingly about World War I, most famously in War Horse. He believes the poppy is personal, but profoundly important.

“Well, I don’t like the poppy is a ‘should’ factor. I don’t think anyone should wear it. I wear it. It’s my business. And if other people wish to wear, that’s their business. We are a free country. No ‘should’ about it. If the team as a whole decided -- English team, Scottish team, the Wales team, whatever -- to wear poppies, then of course, why not?”

While England and Scotland defy FIFA, Wales and Northern Ireland will not wear poppies accepting there are many other ways to honor the fallen. This morning debate will be stilled by silence.

Paul Kelso, Sky News.
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