Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Poppy row: English Defence League climb onto roof of FIFA HQ


The Mirror

EDL protesters have climbed onto the roof of FIFA HQ


FIFA were targeted today by protesters angry that they have banned England from wearing
embroidered poppies on their team shirts on Saturday.

Two members of the English Defence League climbed onto the roof of FIFA's headquarters in
Zurich with a banner protesting against the ban.

A FIFA spokesman confirmed the protest is ongoing and that Swiss police were in attendance.
The two protesters displayed a banner with two poppies on which read: "English defence League.
How dare FIFA disrespect our war dead and wounded. Support out troops."

The incident will come as something of an embarrassment to the FA given that the EDL are a farright group whose founder Stephen Lennon was convicted in July of leading a street brawl with
100 football fans.

Lennon, a father of three from Luton, was sentenced to a 12-month community rehabilitation order,
150 hours of unpaid work and given a three-year football banning order.


A member of the EDL on the roof of FIFA (Pic: Twitter via casualsunited.wordpress.com)

A spokesman for 'Hope not hate', an anti-EDL campaign group, said: "It's a little hypocritical of the
EDL to be leading this protest given that their leader Stephen Lennon is a convicted football
hooligan. It is important that neither the symbol of the poppy nor the Three Lions of England are
appropriated by extremists of the EDL."

David Cameron earlier condemned the ban on England's footballers wearing poppies on
their kit as "outrageous"

The Prime Minister called for the sport's ruling body, Fifa, to reverse the "absurd" decision that is
stopping the team having the remembrance symbol embroidered on their shirts for this Saturday's
match


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