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Council leader slams FIFA poppy ban.
The Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, has called on football's world governing body to reconsider its ban on England players wearing embroidered poppies on their shirts in their game against Spain this weekend.
In a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, he says:
"I am writing to express my shock and outrage that FIFA has seen fit to ban England footballers from wearing poppies at their friendly international game against Spain this week. To suggest, as FIFA has, that the poppy is a political symbol is just ludicrous.
"The poppy is worn as a symbol of remembrance of those that died in conflicts to defend peace and democracy across the world. It is worn as a sign of respect for those that fell and those that served and is in no way a political symbol or statement. It is incredibly important to all of us in the UK and to ban it is just plain wrong. Portsmouth is a football city, but we are also a naval city and your decision has caused pain to many local people here. Please reconsider."