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Wales squad will not wear poppies but black armbands for Serbia match

Wales will wear black armbands but no poppies during their qualifying match against Serbia on Saturday.

FIFA had turned down a request made by the FAW for the team to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands.

Players will wear a plain black armband this Saturday without the poppy. Credit: PA

The FAW said that it had been in regular dialogue with FIFA in regards to the forthcoming Remembrance weekend.

Prior to kick off on Saturday, a mosaic depicting the poppy be will unveiled by Wales supporters in the Family Stand and the players will wear black armbands as a mark of respect throughout the match.

The FAW naturally wishes to respect and honour those who fought and lost their lives fighting for their country.

As an Association we also have to respect the rules of FIFA and following long discussions with members of the FAW Council, staff, management and players, a decision has been made not to wear the poppy against Serbia.

We felt unable to take the risk of a financial penalty or point deduction, however, as we always have done at this time of year, we will be paying our respects in other ways.

– Jonathan Ford, FAW Chief Executive

While the outcome of this request by the FAW had a sad sense of inevitability, it is still no less disgraceful.

This shameful decision to ban the Welsh team from displaying the poppy flies in the face of our values – it is an act of huge respect and national pride and it was only right that our players wanted to join in with millions of others paying their respects across the country.

The efforts to reverse this by the Football Association should be commended and I’m sure our governing body will find other ways to pay respects this weekend.

– Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives

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Bale sets record at Welsh awards

Bale is also the Vauxhall fans' player of the year for the fourth year. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Gareth Bale has set a new record after being voted Welsh footballer of the year for the fourth time.

Both Mark Hughes and John Hartson individually received the Football Association of Wales award on three occasions but no man has previously been named Welsh player of the year four times.

The Real Madrid star retained the trophy at the FAW awards dinner at Cardiff's St David's Hotel and has now won it four times during the past five years.

Bale's incredible year saw him win the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Copa del Rey for Real, while his performances for Wales have also caught the eye.

The 25-year-old scored both goals in Wales' opening Euro 2016 qualifier last month, a 2-1 win in Andorra, and has now scored 10 times in his last 11 internationals.

  1. Dean Thomas

Decision over Wales qualifier in Andorra due in 24 hours

Estadi Comunal D'Andorra La Vella Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

The Football Association of Wales have confirmed a decision will be made in 24 hours on whether Wales' opening Euro 2016 qualifier with Andorra can go ahead at the new national stadium.

UEFA will carry out further tests on Andorra's 3G artificial surface today before making a decision on where the game will be played.

If improvements have not been made after the last inspection on the weekend then the game could be moved to a different country with Spain thought to be an option.

Andorra have been playing their homes at the Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella.

An FAW spokesperson has thanked fans travelling to Andorra for their patience.

Football campaign aiming to tackle 'pushy parents'

The FAW says it wants to crack down on adults who behave inappropriately at children's football matches Credit: Dave Howarth/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A campaign is being launched this morning to tackle parents who are critical or overly-competitive when watching their children play football.

The Football Association of Wales, which has named its campaign 'Behind the Line, Behind the Team', says it wants to prevent adults being 'over-zealous' on the touchline of children's matches.

Adults are asked to sign a code of conduct, which includes 'never publicly criticise or ridicule my child or another player', 'support and motivate all players, including the opposition', and agreeing 'not to place my child under pressure or push them into unwanted activities'.

There is also a request not to post negative comments on social networking sites about young players, match officials or volunteers.

The FAW says it wants to remind parents that 'children play for fun and winning isn't everything'.

There are similar codes of conduct in place for young players themselves, as well as coaches, managers and volunteers.

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