Following the furore over ‘poppygate’ fines raised against the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, FIFA is to introduce new rules to ensure the disfiguring blight of politics will never again deface the unblemished face of world football.
‘Yeah,’ said a FIFA spokesman today, ‘we’ve had enough of the beautiful game being compromised by this divisive political and religious symbolism.’
‘Poppies, flags, national anthems – it’s all the same, innit? Crude nationalist jingoism and sectarian point-scoring. We at FIFA headquarters are better than that, frankly, so these new rules are intended to drag the rest of the footballing world a bit closer to our own elevated moral plane.’
From now on international teams will all play under a single unifying banner – a giant McDonald’s logo – and sing the same anthem. This is expected to be either the Shake n’ Vac song from the advert or the Intel Inside jingle, depending on which company ponies-up the quickest.
Nations will, however, be able to wear shirts of their own choosing on payment of a one-off administration fee to an account in the Cayman Islands (or in instalments to Crowbar Harry in the snug of the Black Horse, Walthamstow every Tuesday afternoon before the stripper starts).