Security must not be very tight at FIFA headquarters in Zurich because two members of the notorious right-wing English Defence League took to the roof of Sepp Blatter's palace to protest FIFA's recent and—it must be acknowledged—very stupid decision to prevent English players from wearing embroidered poppies on their jerseys when the team plays Spain on Saturday.
The FA petitioned FIFA to allow England to wear poppies this weekend to honor England's war dead. November 11 is, after all, Remembrance Day in England. And poppies have been a symbol of remembrance in England since World War I, when the flowers were the first plants to sprout from the battlefields. Blatter denied the request, claiming the poppy is a political symbol. (Only in Afghanistan, Sepp.)
But members of the English Defence League, which was founded by a man convicted in July of leading a street brawl with 100 football fans, aren't the only ones upset by Blatter's ruling. Here's what British Prime Minister David Cameron told the AP:
This seems outrageous...The idea that wearing a poppy to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom is a political act is absurd. Wearing a poppy is an act of huge respect and national pride. I hope FIFA will reconsider.
And here's Phil Neville suggesting outright rebellion:
Even Wills has written a letter bitching to FIFA. Sepp Blatter, the Great Uniter.
UPDATE: Sepp Blatter has caved to right-wing extremism and will allow England to wear poppies on special armbands. How craven of him.