Remembrance argument turns political just as FIFA warned.
The English Defence League stormed FIFA offices today over the banning of embroidered poppies on the England shirts for Saturday’s friendly with Spain.
Two members of the EDL, a far-right political group, climbed onto the roof of the governing body’s headquarters in Zurich with a banner protesting against the ban.
A FIFA spokesman confirmed the protest is ongoing and that Swiss police were in attendance.
The two protesters displayed a banner with two poppies on which read: “English defence League. How dare FIFA disrespect our war dead and wounded. Support out troops.”
The incident will be an embarrassment to the Football Association given that the EDL founder Stephen Lennon was convicted in July of leading a street brawl with 100 football fans.
Lennon, a father of three from Luton, was sentenced to a 12-month community rehabilitation order, 150 hours of unpaid work and given a three-year football banning order.
A spokesman for ‘Hope not hate’, an anti-EDL campaign group, said: “It’s hypocritical of the EDL to be leading this protest given their leader Stephen Lennon is a convicted football hooligan.
“It is important that neither the symbol of the poppy nor the Three Lions of England are appropriated by extremists of the EDL.”