England have been fined 45,000 Swiss francs (£35,000) by FIFA for the “display of a political symbol and several cases of spectator misconduct” in the “framework” of their World Cup qualifier against Scotland, who have been fined CHF 20,000 (£15,700).
The punishment relates to the row over whether poppies could be displayed before and during last month’s match at Wembley.
England and Scotland players wore black armbands featuring poppies, while wreaths were laid before kick-off at Wembley. Northern Ireland, fined CHF 15,000 (£11,800), commemorated Armstice Day with black armbands when they played Azerbaijan.
Wales did not opt for a visible commemoration by their team, but fans wore poppies in the stands, while a card mosaic was raised before their match against Serbia, which has resulted in a fine of 20,000 (£15,700).
Fans wearing poppies also formed a part of the charges brought against England and Scotland.
“FIFA can today confirm sanctions imposed on several football associations for incidents during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and international friendlies,” read the governing body’s statement on Monday.
“England has been fined CHF 45,000 for several incidents in the framework of the England v. Scotland match, including the display by the host association, the English team and spectators of a political symbol and several cases of spectator misconduct. Scotland, as the visiting association, has been fined CHF 20,000 for the display of the same political symbol and cases of misconduct committed by its own group of spectators.
“Wales has been fined CHF 20,000 and Northern Ireland CHF 15,000 in relation to several incidents, including the display of political symbols in the context of the Wales v. Serbia and Northern Ireland v. Azerbaijan matches.”
FIFA has insisted the fines are not passing judgement on which commemorations were acceptable, claiming it was their job to apply the game’s laws – set by the International Football Association Board, which the Home Nations’ four boards and FIFA comprise – in a neutral fashion.
“With these decisions, it is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background,” said Claudio Sulser, the chairman of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee.
“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”
The Republic of Ireland were fined CHF 5,000 for “the display of a political symbol on the shirt” during their friendly against Switzerland.
FIFA also handed out a raft of other punishments.
Chile were handed a two-match ban from playing Estadio Nacional and fined CHF 30,000 for “homophobic chants by the team’s fans” which followed similar sanctions from earlier in their World Cup qualifying campaign, while Argentina were hit with a CHF 30,000 fine.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Greece, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and Venezuela were among the other nations disciplined.
FIFA’s statement added: “Romania has been sanctioned with a ban on playing at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest for two matches and fined CHF 95,000 for a series of incidents during the Romania v Poland match.
“Honduras has been sanctioned with a ban on playing at the Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula for one match and fined CHF 40,000 for several incidents during the Honduras v Panama match.
“Greece has been fined CHF 80,000 for several incidents during the Greece v Bosnia and Herzegovina match, including the display of a political banner by fans, and Ukraine has been fined CHF 60,000 for discriminatory chants by fans during the Ukraine v Serbia friendly match.
“In addition, Poland has been fined CHF 35,000, Argentina CHF 30,000, Bosnia and Herzegovina CHF 25,000, Colombia CHF 25,000, Panama CHF 25,000, Mexico CHF 20,000 and Venezuela CHF 20,000 for various incidents involving unsporting conduct by fans, including homophobic chants in some instances. Another procedure opened against Mexico is currently on going.”