Northern Ireland poppy shirts generate further controversy

The Northern Ireland shirt which was temporarily withdrawn from sale on the JD Sports website.

The Northern Ireland shirt which was temporarily withdrawn from sale on the JD Sports website.

The IFA have made a U-turn on the withdrawal of a replica Northern Ireland shirt bearing a poppy.

The shirt had been available via the JD Sports website earlier this week until the IFA instructed the retailer to withdraw them.

IFA officials told the Stephen Nolan Show this morning they had been concerned about the language used to market the shirt and wanted clarification that profits would be going towards the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

They said they had not been consulted as to the sale of the £55 shirt.

England, Scotland and Wales shirts bearing poppies remain available via the website.

It is understood JD Sports are making the shirts to order by adding a poppy to the standard home shirt in much the same way as names and numbers are ironed onto replica kits.

However, after their brief withdrawal, the IFA gave the go-ahead for the Northern Ireland poppy shirts to go back on sale.

They are due to back on the site this afternoon.

The IFA issued the following statement: “The decision to sell the Northern Ireland shirts with the poppy was one made by JD Sports which is the Irish FA’s retail partner.

“When we were made aware of the sale of the shirts we asked JD if all profits from the sale go to the Royal British Legion.

“They have agreed to that request and the shirt will be back on sale later this morning with the new charitable donation element made clear.”

The IFA have confirmed that players will be wearing plain black armbands on Friday night while other events will take place to mark Armistice Day.