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Culture Secretary asks Fifa to 'see sense' over poppies

Karen Bradley has urged Fifa to 'see sense'. Credit: Reuters

Fifa should "see sense" and drop disciplinary action against England and Scotland for wearing Remembrance poppies during their World Cup qualifier on Armistice Day, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said.

There was a widespread outcry after the FA's of both countries were charged by football's world governing body for wearing armbands decorated with the poignant symbol during their November 11 game at Wembley.

Conservative MP Mrs Bradley said she had been at the national stadium for the match and been pleased to see players with poppies on to commemorate Britain's war dead.

She told told BBC 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics:

I urge Fifa to see sense in this and withdraw the threat of sanctions.

It seems that wearing a poppy, if a player wants to wear a poppy, they should be able to do so, as should fans.

– Culture Secretary Karen Bradley

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FIFA fines Croatia over fans' behaviour

Croatia fans. Credit: PA

The Croatian federation has been fined 50,000 Swiss francs by FIFA for the "inappropriate behaviour" of the national team's fans during a World Cup qualifier against Kosovo on October 6.

Media reports after the match stated that sections of the home and away support engaged in anti-Serbian chants during the game, which was played in Albania and classified as a home match for Kosovo.

In addition to the fine, which equates to just over £41,000, the Croatian federation said it had also been given a warning by the game's world governing body that more stringent sanctions may follow if there were any further disturbances.

Croatia must play their home qualifier against Iceland on November 12 behind closed doors as the second part of a supporter ban imposed for previous disturbances.

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Russia and Qatar World Cups 'helping to clean the game'

Fifa vice-president Victor Montagliani has suggested football might still be blighted by corruption if Russia and Qatar had not been chosen to host the next two World Cups.

Russia will host the next tournament in 2018 and Qatar the 2022 event, with both nations winning the right in a controversial vote almost six years ago.

Russia will host the 2018 World Cup. Credit: PA

Since the December 2010 awarding, corruption has been exposed in the global game, with then-Fifa president Sepp Blatter among those now banned.

Montagliani, speaking at the Leaders in Sport conference in London, said: "If Russia and Qatar wouldn't have got these World Cups, would we be in this situation now with an opportunity to clean the game?

"I think that was the starting point and the tipping point for certain things to happen.

"If England and the US had got the World Cup, maybe we would've had status quo.

"I'm just wondering if the authorities that have stepped up their involvement in the game would've done that if the choices had been a bit different.

"Maybe the best thing that happened in football was Russia and Qatar."

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