England and Scotland will face disciplinary proceedings for wearing black armbands featuring embroidered poppies during last Friday’s World Cup qualifier at Wembley, FIFA has confirmed.
The two nations wore the items as part of remembrance tributes to Britain’s military personnel who have died in war, with the match taking place on Armistice Day.
International Football Association Board rules state players cannot wear “political, religious or personal slogans, statement or images” during matches.
According to a statement published widely in the British media, a FIFA spokesman said: “We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened on this matter. Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage nor speculate on any outcome or provide an estimated timeline.”
The most severe punishment on the table for England and Scotland is a points deduction in Group F, although a fine is the more probable course of action.
Despite being aware of the prospect of sanctions before the game, Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn insisted England would go through with wearing the poppy armbands as “a point of principle”.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) issued a statement ahead of their match against Serbia on Saturday saying FIFA “turned down a request for the Wales national team to wear poppies on their shirts or on armbands”.
As a result, Wales wore plain black armbands, with Northern Ireland making a similar tribute in their World Cup qualifier versus Azerbaijan.