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By Matthew Barrett
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At Prime Minister's Questions earlier this week, two backbench Conservative MPs asked David Cameron to condemn FIFA's attempt to stop the English and Welsh national football teams from wearing poppies on their shirts during international matches this weekend.
The Prime Minister did condemn FIFA's stance, writing to Sepp Blatter, the governing body's President, to appeal against the move. Blatter accepted the strength of feeling in Britain, and allowed poppies to be worn on black armbands during the two matches.
England are playing against Spain this evening, and our conservative counterparts in that country, the Partido Popular (PP), backed opposition to FIFA's stance.
At the International Democrat Union conference earlier this week, David Cameron met with PP's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Jorge Moragas, and Mr Moragas was happy to show support for Britain's stance, posing for a photo with the Prime Minister.
The head of the United Kingdom branch of Partido Popular, Jesús Ledo, told the Bow Group:
"We see the poppy as the symbol that represents the victory of freedom against fear and opression and that honours those who died while fighting to obtain it. Therefore we cannot understand how this can be considered offensive and we believe that any prohibition by FIFA is ridiculous. It is a situation where there is clearly a misunderstanding of political correctness"
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney said:
“There are few greater national points of focus than when England play, and few times of greater national unity than on Remembrance weekend. It is absolutely right that an international football match such as this should pay tribute to our armed forces past and present: in recognition of the covenant all British citizens hold with our military. We should display the poppy with pride without regard for opposition. Any attempt to prevent Britain from honouring its troops is unacceptable. FIFA have shown themselves, and continue to show themselves as a body unfit for the responsibility with which they are bestowed.”