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Fifa backs down over poppy row with England

The Swiss-based international football governing body, Fifa, has allowed England players to wear poppies on black armbands in Saturday’s friendly against Spain.

“The England team will now be permitted to wear a poppy on the black armbands,” said a statement carried by the English Football Association.

The organisation added that the compromise was in line with Fifa rules which prevent symbols on shirts.

The issue provoked Prime Minister David Cameron to condemn a ban as outrageous. On Wednesday members of a nationalist group staged a protest on the roof of the Fifa headquarters in Zurich.

Observers say the Fifa announcement could bring an end to a dispute which led both Cameron and the president of the English Football Association, writing to Fifa.

They said poppies had no political or commercial connotations but were a universal symbol of remembrance of war dead.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR