English Defence League target Fifa over poppy ban


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The Independent Online

Fifa were targeted today by protesters angry that they have banned England from wearing embroidered poppies on their team shirts on Saturday.

Two members of the English Defence League climbed onto the roof of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich with a banner protesting against the ban.

A FIFA spokesman confirmed the protest is ongoing and that Swiss police were in attendance.

The two protesters displayed a banner with two poppies on which read: "English defence League. How dare FIFA disrespect our war dead and wounded. Support out troops."

The incident will come as something of an embarrassment to the FA given that the EDL are a far-right group whose founder Stephen Lennon was convicted in July of leading a street brawl with 100 football fans.

Lennon, a father of three from Luton, was sentenced to a 12-month community rehabilitation order, 150 hours of unpaid work and given a three-year football banning order.

A spokesman for 'Hope not hate', an anti-EDL campaign group, said: "It's a little hypocritical of the EDL to be leading this protest given that their leader Stephen Lennon is a convicted football hooligan. It is important that neither the symbol of the poppy nor the Three Lions of England are appropriated by extremists of the EDL."