Not so crazy that they have not allowed a compromise on the issue of England’s footballers wearing a poppy on Saturday, but still crazy enough that they aren’t making any sense. Fifa and the FA reached a compromise allowing the England players to wear poppies on black armbands on Saturday. It comes after both David Cameron and Prince William wrote to Fifa to ask them to reconsider their ban.
It was a slightly farcical display all around. Fifa’s ban made no sense, the poppy not being a political sign, and was indicative of the kind of insane bureaucracy at which Fifa is adept. They went so far as to order the referee to call off the match if England took to the field wearing poppies anyway. Their reasoning was that it would ‘open the door to similar initiatives from all over the world, jeopardising the neutrality of football’ thus fully displaying their well known detachment from reality. Their disproportionate determination on this issue was only matched by
lunatics members of the English Defence League, who climbed to the roof of Fifa’s headquarters to display a banner condemning the decision.
The compromise, whilst certainly a good thing, does not make a lot of sense. In effect Fifa have agreed that their rule should not apply to poppies (or else they should not shown at all) without actually agreeing to back down from their position. What’s the difference between a poppy on an armband and a poppy on a shirt? Apparently it is all a matter of mindlessly sticking to the letter of the law in defiance of all common sense. Fifa, in other words.