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England and Germany to wear black armbands bearing poppies at Wembley

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Poppies

England and Germany players will wear black armbands bearing poppies for Friday’s friendly at Wembley.

The tribute is in remembrance of members of the armed forces, said the Football Association (FA) and German Football Association (DFB).

FA chief executive Martin Glenn called it “a show of solidarity and unity”.

It comes after rules were changed last month, allowing the home nations to wear a poppy if opposing teams and the competition organiser agree to it.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were all fined for displaying poppies during games in November 2016 as Fifa deemed it to be a political symbol.

But all four teams said they would request permission to wear poppies during November’s international matches after the rules were revised.

DFB president Reinhard Grindel said poppy armbands were not “political propaganda”.

“They’re about remembering the kind of values that were kicked to the ground in two World Wars but are cherished by football: respect, tolerance, and humanity,” he said.

A replica of ‘The Truce’ statue, which depicts the historic World War I ceasefire where peace and games of football broke out between English and German troops on Christmas Day in 1914, will be on temporary display beside the Bobby Moore statue at Wembley Stadium.

The FA and DFB also plan to commemorate Armistice Day on 11 November in a number of other ways:

  • RAF, Army and Navy representatives will lay wreaths before kick-off.
  • A period of silence will be held before kick-off and after the national anthems.
  • During the silence, the Wembley Stadium arch will be lit in red and ‘Football Remembers’ will be displayed on the stadium screen.
  • A banner parade, involving representatives from the military, will take place inside the stadium before kick-off.
  • There will be poppy and St George’s flag T-shirt layouts for fans in the east and west stands.
  • Poppy sellers will be at Wembley Stadium in the fanzone, concourses and on Olympic Way.

Northern Ireland host Switzerland in the first leg of their play-off for the 2018 World Cup while Scotland face the Netherlands at Pittodrie in a friendly on Thursday. Wales travel to France for a friendly on Friday.

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