Who made the poppy a political symbol? For those who collected the flower from fields in France 90 years ago and many bereaved relatives at home it was a symbol of respect for loved ones lost, but it can be used politically and has been shamelessly politicised in Scotland in recent years, where the symbol of national loss has been exploited.
In itself, the poppy is not political, it occupies the same territory as the black armband, but even this worldwide symbol of respect has been exploited for political ends by footballers in the past.
I can understand why many in England are furious that Fifa consider the poppy a political symbol and have banned England for wearing it against Spain this week, but since a few live to exploit the flower for political ends, the Fifa decision is correct.
Before making the decision someone at Fifa would have undertaken cursory research into the subject. Searching Google for “poppy football” a few weeks ago would have returned this (now archived) result. I’m sure you recall; a banner at Celtic Park, which didn’t make the news on the day it was displayed, or on the next day, was badgered by someone into the news on day three. Celtic were the target of that exercise, the England team are now collateral damage.