England v Scotland: Darren Fletcher backs poppy decision

Scotland captain Darren Fletcher
Darren Fletcher is happy to wear a poppy - and Scotland's pink strip
World Cup Qualifying Group F: England v Scotland
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London Date: Friday, 11 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport app; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Captain Darren Fletcher believes Scotland are right to defy Fifa and wear poppies against England.

The Scottish FA, along with their English counterparts, have said the teams will wear poppies on black armbands when they meet on Friday.

"I don't want to talk too much about it and what the consequences are for us, because it's important to concentrate on the game," said midfielder Fletcher.

"But the players would love to show their respects by wearing the poppy."

It goes against a Fifa directive that prohibits political, religious or commercial messages on shirts and the governing body has warned both associations that they could face sanctions.

"First and foremost, I think everyone would love to wear the poppy and wants to wear the poppy to show our respect," said Fletcher ahead of the World Cup Group F qualifier.

"Fifa have their rules and you understand why, but hopefully common sense prevails.

"You can see today how much it means to people."

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate
Interim England manager Gareth Southgate wore a poppy at his media conference

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate also spoke on Monday of how important the poppy is to both English and Scottish history in backing his association's stance.

A points deduction could be one option open to Fifa, but Fletcher remains unconcerned over any potential penalties.

"I'm not even thinking about it," he said. "We have a game to play and things like that get taken care of by people in higher places than me.

"My focus is the game, England v Scotland, and trying to get three points for my country, which would be massive at Wembley."

Scotland are also set to play in pink shirts with Fifa ruling the white sleeves on their blue home kit clashes with the light blue sleeves on England's home strip, but Fletcher insisted the colour matters little.

"Again, you'd like to think common sense will prevail, but at the end of the day, the Scotland badge is on the pink strip and that's all that matters," he added.

"Once you start playing, it doesn't matter what colour your wear, you're representing your country."

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