News story

PM letter to Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

"Wearing a poppy is an almost universal symbol throughout the United Kingdom", wrote David Cameron.

Today the Prime Minister wrote to Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA. The letter read:

Dear Sepp

I know that you are aware of the importance of Remembrance Sunday in the United Kingdom, when we pay tribute those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in times of war.

We fully understand, and respect, FIFA’s rules on its member nations not adorning their shirts with ‘commercial’, ‘political’, or ‘religious’ symbols or messages. However, wearing a poppy is an almost universal symbol throughout the United Kingdom - people from all backgrounds and walks of life across the country join together in doing this as an act of national remembrance, to commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of their country. I can assure you that there are no political connotations whatsoever to wearing a poppy. 

You will have seen the letter to you on this issue from Hugh Robertson, the Minister of Sport and Olympics, yesterday. The mood of the House of Commons on this issue today was clear - and I believe this reflects a similarly unambiguous sentiment across the country. 

I do hope that we will be able to find a sensible way through which allows British participants in this weekend’s matches to commemorate those who have fallen in conflict.