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IFA set to join forces with home nations to tackle Fifa over poppy fines

Windsor chiefs will take action despite not being able to appeal poppy fine

By Paul Ferguson and Laure James

The Irish FA are preparing to bare their teeth against the might of Fifa after being fined and reprimanded yesterday by football's world governing body 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.

But to add further insult to an already incredibly sensitive issue for the Irish FA, 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 yesterday for 'displays of poppies' during their games on November 11.

The Irish FA though are determined to stand up to Fifa in this unsavoury row and tomorrow night will hold a board meeting at Windsor Park where they will discuss their legal options - including demanding to know why they were fined on the limit where they had no right to reply.

Communities Minister Paul Givan, whose brief includes sport, also revealed to the Belfast Telegraph last night that the Irish FA are considering joining forces with their fellow home associations to tackle Fifa.

The DUP MLA said: "There are certainly discussions with the four home nations to see if they could make a joint representation, and I would expect the IFA even if they are unable to technically appeal, to look at making representation with the other home nations."

More:

Irish FA must keep fighting Fifa over poppy fine, says Sport Minister Givan

IFA poppy fine: Let's remain on the moral high ground 

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