The Football Association of Wales (FAW) can confirm that FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the FAW following the FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier against Serbia at the Cardiff City Stadium on 12 November 2016.
The disciplinary proceedings against the FAW are in relation to incidents involving the display of poppy symbols. The incidents, as detailed in the communication from FIFA, under investigation include –
- ‘Some supporters in the stands wearing the poppy
- A member of the armed forces was holding a bunch of poppies at the exit of the tunnel
- A fans mosaic depicting the poppy was displayed during the anthem of Wales
- A banner depicting the poppy was also displayed by the supporters of wales before the match started’.
In response to the communication from FIFA, the FAW confirmed that on Armistice weekend the FAW paid its respects to those individuals who had made the ultimate sacrifice in a dignified and humble way while at the same time respecting the rules and regulations of world football’s governing body FIFA.
Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the FAW said:
“Naturally as an association we are disappointed and surprised at the news. Our intention was to show respect on Armistice weekend which we feel we did in the right and proper way.
We also adhered to the rules and regulations of the competition and the communication from FIFA prohibiting the FAW request for the players to wear the poppy symbol on the armbands or the field of play.
We are particularly disappointed that one of the charges relates to supporters in the stands wearing poppies. Naturally as an association we will strongly contest the charges.”
The case will be submitted to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for evaluation on 9 December 2016. The FAW has until 29 November to provide a statement and relevant evidence.