FIFA Fines for FAs Over Poppies as "Political Symbols"
December 19, 2016
Several member associations sanctioned for incidents during FIFA World Cup qualifiers and friendlies
FIFA can today confirm sanctions imposed on several football associations for incidents during 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and international friendlies.
England has been fined CHF 45,000 for several incidents in the framework of the England v. Scotland match, including the display by the host association, the English team and spectators of a political symbol and several cases of spectator misconduct. Scotland, as the visiting association, has been fined CHF 20,000 for the display of the same political symbol and cases of misconduct committed by its own group of spectators.
Wales has been fined CHF 20,000 and Northern Ireland CHF 15,000 in relation to several incidents, including the display of political symbols in the context of the Wales v. Serbia and Northern Ireland v. Azerbaijan matches.
In addition, the Republic of Ireland has been fined CHF 5,000 for the display of a political symbol on the shirt during the Republic of Ireland v. Switzerland friendly match.
The Disciplinary Committee has taken these decisions after analysing all of the specific circumstances of each case. “With these decisions, it is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background. However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else,” said the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser.
Moreover, in proceedings relating to incidents involving unsporting and discriminatory conduct by fans, the Disciplinary Committee has imposed the following sanctions:
Chile has been sanctioned with a ban on playing at the Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos in Santiago for two official matches and fined CHF 30,000. The ban will be served at Chile’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches against Paraguay and Ecuador. The proceedings relate to homophobic chants by the team’s fans and follow previous sanctions for similar incidents during the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
Romania has been sanctioned with a ban on playing at the Arena Naționalăin Bucharest for two matches and fined CHF 95,000 for a series of incidents during the Romania v. Poland match. The first ban will be served at the next match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers between Romania and Denmark, whereas the implementation of the second ban is suspended subject to a probation period of two years in application of art. 33 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC).
Honduras has been sanctioned with a ban on playing at the Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula for one match and fined CHF 40,000 for several incidents during the Honduras v. Panama match. The suspension will be served at Honduras’ 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Costa Rica.
Greece has been fined CHF 80,000 for several incidents during the Greece v. Bosnia and Herzegovina match, including the display of a political banner by fans, and Ukraine has been fined CHF 60,000 for discriminatory chants by fans during the Ukraine v. Serbia friendly match.
In addition, Poland has been fined CHF 35,000, Argentina CHF 30,000, Bosnia and Herzegovina CHF 25,000, Colombia CHF 25,000, Panama CHF 25,000, Mexico CHF 20,000 and Venezuela CHF 20,000 for various incidents involving unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances. Another procedure opened against Mexico is currently on going.
Finally, the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) has been sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player in the match between the Solomon Islands and Tahiti on 7 November 2016. The match is declared to be forfeited and awarded 3-0 in favour of Tahiti, with the SIFF also receiving a fine of CHF 6,000 after the FIFA Disciplinary Committee considered the SIFF liable for having breached art. 55 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) and art. 8 of the Regulations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The sanction relates to the player Henry Luito’o Samuel Fa’arodo failing to serve the automatic one-match suspension imposed on him following two cautions received in two different matches (art. 17 par. 3 of the FDC).
Further details on the cases are available in the disciplinary overview document for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ preliminary competition, published on FIFA.com.
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