Ireland in hot water with FIFA for wearing 1916 commemorative shirt last March
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Ireland in hot water with FIFA for wearing 1916 commemorative shirt last March

FIFA, football’s world governing body, have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for their use of a 1916 commemorative logo on their shirts in March.

The Republic of Ireland wore special jerseys to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Easter Rising, a rebellious attempt to overthrow British rule in Ireland which changed the course of the nation's history.

However, the move was only brought to the attention of FIFA figureheads this week by politician Damian Collins MP, who is aggrieved at the governing body’s refusal to allow the England and Scotland national teams to wear poppies on their shirts when they play each other next week.

FIFA rejected the poppy request from the Football Associations of both nations on the grounds that it would violate their rule which states 'equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.'

Collins wrote to FIFA this week asking why they were more lenient with the case of Ireland’s 1916 shirt, but it appears those in the position of power at their Zurich-based headquarters were oblivious to what was being commemorated in Dublin.

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A statement from FIFA read: "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."

Ireland wore the jersey in a friendly against Switzerland on March 25, 2016.

Mr Collins, chairman of the Commons' Culture, Media and Sport select committee, told The Irish Post earlier this week that he has no issue with Ireland commemorating the Easter Rising, but felt FIFA were guilty of double standards.

He said: “I just think the ruling against the poppy is wrong and inappropriate of FIFA.”

England play Scotland in a World Cup qualifier on November 11, known as Armistice Day, and both FAs have vowed to defy FIFA’s ruling by displaying a poppy via armbands on their shirts.

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