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Fifa poppy fines: Irish FA expresses disappointment at penalty but won't pursue legal action

Windsor chiefs unable to appeal poppy fine

The Irish FA has expressed disappointment at being fined and reprimanded by Fifa for their Armistice Day act of remembrance at the Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

Fifa, who waited a week to announce the punishment, hit the Irish FA with a penalty of £11,769 (15,000 Swiss Francs) after a three-man disciplinary committee found them guilty of breaking their rule 4.4 which concerns political, religious or commercial messages at football matches.

The sanction falls below Fifa's threshold for appeal, and therefore Windsor Park chiefs will not be allowed to challenge the decision - unlike their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales who received larger fines for 'displays of poppies' during their games on November 11.

At a meeting on Wednesday night to discuss options the IFA said they will be writing to the Fifa president to arrange an urgent meeting to seek clarity on this issue.

An Irish FA board statement said: "The board of the Irish FA wishes to express its severe disappointment that the FIFA disciplinary committee issued the association with a fine and a reprimand for acts of remembrance at the Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan game on Armistice Day.

"In the weeks leading up to the match on 11th November, the Irish FA had discussions with FIFA to get guidance on what was permitted within the laws of the game.

"Having followed that guidance in the delivery of the acts of remembrance at the match, it is extremely disappointing that the FIFA disciplinary committee came to the conclusions that it did.

"The Irish FA cannot appeal the 15,000 CHF fine under FIFA regulations and having discussed the options at the board meeting this evening, the association will not pursue any further legal recourse.

"However, the association will write to the President of FIFA to arrange an urgent meeting to seek clarity on this issue going forward."

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