FAI Charged over Commemorative 1916 Jersey

Updated: November 4, 2016

Issues surrounding the jersey have come to the fore over recent days.

FIFA have today announced that they are currently opening formal proceedings against the Republic of Ireland.

The decision comes after football’s governing body yesterday confirmed that they were ‘evaluating the matter’, in reference to the kit worn by the Republic during a game versus Switzerland in March.

The jerseys in question were embroidered with the years 1916-2016, marking the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

FIFA have since concluded this to be a political symbol, the likes of which are banned from any and all football kits according to their guidelines.

The investigation came after England and Scotland were informed that they were not permitted to wear poppies on black armbands when they face off in a World Cup Qualifier later this month.

The poppies were intended to mark Armistice Day, the date on which Britons pay tribute to those who have died at war each year.

FIFA informed the sides that the poppies would be construed as ’political symbols’.

However, British MP Damian Collins has since accused the organisation of double standards, referencing the jerseys worn by Ireland during March’s friendly.

As a result, FIFA yesterday opened an investigation into the matter, leading to today’s charge for the FAI.

The decision comes as a strange and unflattering one for the image of FIFA. The body must have been fully aware of March’s commemorative Irish jerseys when they were worn, but did not deem them as punishment-worthy at the time.

Now, seemingly to reinforce their point to the English and Scottish football associations, they have changed their ruling, contradicting themselves at the expense of Ireland.

If they were truly unaware of the political reference on the Republic’s kits at the time they were worn, then FIFA have proven themselves to be inept at keeping an eye on football proceedings the world over.

Whatever the case may be, FIFA, not the FAI, are the ones who have come out of this situation with egg on their face.

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