Skip to main content

Wear Your Poppy with Pride....

It is very unusual for me to ever applaud any action taken by the FA, but in the case of their stance regarding the wearing of the poppy in the England football team's upcoming game against Scotland, who have also backed the move, I am in total agreement. Both teams will wear an armband featuring a poppy to commemorate Armistice Day, which falls on the day of the match.

According to FIFA, the world governing body, wearing a poppy constitutes making a political statement and thereby contravenes FIFA rules. Should they allow this to happen, they say, it would open the floodgates for further breaches.

Now FIFA have frequently allowed teams to support a cause or an event in the past, so this is double standards to say the least. Indeed England have previously worn armbands - with no objection from FIFA - to commemorate Remembrance Day. The poppy is not a political symbol, it is a sign of peace originating from just after World War One, to commemorate the millions who lost their lives in the so-called 'War to end all Wars'. Of course it means a lot to England and Scotland, but also to all of those from all nations who were involved in the tragic events of a hundred years ago.

FIFA, an organisation who, although there have been changes recently in the hierarchy, has over the years been a byword for corruption and dodgy deals, and consequently have absolutely no right to take some dubious moral high ground on this issue with absolutely no regard for the millions and millions of people who have given their lives for their country and the families who have lost loved ones.  What will they do next, ban the two minutes silence?

The relevance of the poppy rings as true as ever now as it did when it first appeared in 1921. Wars affecting many parts of the world - the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, South Sudan, central Africa - are blighting many countries who are FIFA members. The message behind the poppy of remembrance for those who have lost their lives and striving for peace is just as applicable for the countries who are affected now as it was following the events in places like the Somme. 

So, put into context, against the background of war, the England-Scotland match is only a football game, which is the way the FA and SFA have both looked at it and are willing to face any sanctions thrown at them. And I applaud them for it....



I have unashamedly borrowed the title for this piece from the name of a song by my good friend Roger Davies, which sums the message behind the poppy so much better than I ever could, so the least I can do is share it with you!












Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Best Buffet Bar None....

One place I am definitely looking forward to visiting again when they re-open is the Buffet Bar in Stalybridge. And whilst it will be great to pay a visit as soon as it is possible, that first visit back to the famous bar on the Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield trans-Pennine route will no doubt stir up in me a huge dose of mixed emotions.... Stalybridge Buffet Bar is one of the few remaining Victorian railway station buffet bars left in the country, and is probably the best-known. I started visiting the bar regularly in 2006, when my job meant I was working about a mile and a half away in Hyde. Back in those days, the bar was owned by John Hesketh, who had spotted the potential of the rambling old Victorian station buffet as a real ale mecca. It had originally opened in 1885, and had meandered on over the years quietly serving customers on the trans-Pennine route, but back then it was not known for its beer. John's idea of a good selection of real ales in an atmospheric bar cr

A Calder Valley Ale Trail - UPDATE August 2020

T he definitive guide to the pubs and bars that line the railways in the towns and villages of the beautiful Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, now with an update in light of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.... August 9th, 2020. The idea for a guide to the pubs along the railway line along the Calder Valley came about as I got fed up with people going on about the Ale Trail from Huddersfield to Stalybridge. I reckoned that the scenery along the Calder Valley was generally more attractive than its southerly rival, and whilst there were some excellent pubs along that route, there were equally some mighty fine pubs in Calderdale. And there was clearly a demand for such a guide: the number of page views I have had for this blog, which has been updated a few times over the years, is several times higher than my next most popular. I had been thinking for some time though that it needed a fresh look and a re-write; the inserted sentences and deleted entries means that it doesn't quite flow

Shades of Grey at The Red Rooster....

A legendary Calderdale pub re-opened its doors a few weeks ago. As a former regular, like many others I have been to check it out. Here's my thoughts.... Sat on a prominent corner in Brookfoot, near Brighouse, the Red Rooster makes for an imposing sight, especially when approached from the front. Even when closed, which it had been since March 2019, it still retained its air of importance, a silent sentinel to a community it was not able to welcome through its doors.  After several months, rumours began to swirl around the area that the pub had been bought and would re-open. Nothing happened, and then we were into the pandemic, when the Rooster was in the same position as every pub that had closed because of lockdown. And then at the back end of 2020, the rumours started up again, only this time with more substance to them. It seemed a family of builders from nearby Shelf had bought the pub with a view to restoring and re-opening it, and then we were into another lockdown. However,