Thursday, 3 November 2016

FIFA vs Poppies & deflection from a bigger issue

First of all I'd like to say that my stance is that not being able to wear poppies on a football shirt or an armband, is a problem for 1 hr 30 minutes, is actually prohibited by rules of the game and for me is nothing but a deflection tactic to the real issues, which I'll go over below.

Secondly, this blog will discuss an issue where politics and football overlap, which (as i've mentioned on Pitch Talk Live #ptlive shows) is never a good thing.

Now, with that being said, the fact that homelessness is a real societal issue that can be so easily solved, but fact that the powers that be and their greed perpetuate the problem should be a massive source of consternation to all, not the wearing of a poppy on an armband or a football shirt for one match.

Homeless charity Crisis ( on their website define being homless as; 'At worst, homelessness can mean sleeping rough on the streets.

In 2015 Government statistics showed that 3,569 people slept rough on any one night across England - this is over double the number counted in 2010
Local agencies report 8,096 people slept rough in London alone throughout 2015/16  - A six per cent rise on the previous year, and more than double the figure of 3,673 in 2009/10
However, the problem of homelessness is much bigger than that of rough sleeping' (Source -

Soldiers off the Street ( is a charity that tries to re-house ex service personnel and the Daily Mirror in 2013 claimed that 1 in 10 homeless people were ex-service personnel (9000 people) (

This is a real issue that the government, especially Theresa May need to focus on, not whether or not armbands with poppies on are worn during a football match.

People like Theresa May need to focus on running the country instead of taking swipes at the powers that be in football. This isn't a new thing, the rules are there and have been there for a while that World governing body Fifa have a ban on political, religious or commercial messages on shirts, and poppies, (even though it's an emotive subject for some) count as a political message.

As said, this isn't a new issue, we discussed it on our #ptlive show back in 2011 -

Sad thing is though, that most people don't read beyond the sensationalist #parisiticmedia headlines that only serve the purpose of deflecting from the real issues instead of informing and empowering people.

War is a horrible thing, but many countries are affected by it and if you open the floodgates for one, you must do it for all and a free for all situation is never a good thing. It's definitely an emotive subject, just look at the way James McClean is treated for choosing NOT to wear a poppy on his shirt each year, but rationale at some point must kick in.

In my view, People fighting this hard to wear a poppy on a shirt or an armband for a football match, should be fighting just as hard to help solve the problem of homelessness for troops and people in general.

If England, Scotland and Wales want to defy the poppy ban, then they'll have to take the consequences for breaking the rules that have been there for a long time, but for me, this is all deflection and once this is over this year, either we won't hear about it until next year, or it'll take another 5 years to become an argument again and more bandwagon jumpers like Theresa May will use it as a way to get themselves some public favour...

United, we are a force, divided we are nothing and the powers that be would rather keep us non-existent, than see us thrive & move forward... and as much as I criticise Fifa on a daily basis (on #ptlive shows & general conversation), they're right in this situation as the rules are clear.

I'm Straight Shootin' LJA...and that's my opinion!!!

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