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Blatter interference almost wrecked FIFA, England poppy peace

FIFA president Sepp Blatter almost wrecked the poppy compromise with the English FA, it has been revealed.

The Daily Mail reports Blatter had made it clear during the storm this week over the poppies appearing on the England kit for the game against Spain at Wembley tomorrow that he was leaving it to general secretary Jerome Valcke to determine FIFA policy.

However, Blatter suddenly wanted a say on Wednesday afternoon after Valcke had finally agreed the armband climbdown - proposed by Tory MP Chris Heaton-Harris - in a telephone call with FA general secretary Alex Horne.

Blatter was said to be upset that FIFA had bowed to the weight of protest from England, led by PM David Cameron, having previously refused to budge since the Daily Mail revelations last Saturday.

Blatter's unexpected intervention led to the wobble within FIFA House, also not helped by the English Defence League protesting on the Zurich body's roof. This led Valcke to put the agreed announcement on hold and suggest there would be no alteration in FIFA's stance.

But the situation changed again when Blatter eventually read the fax sent from the FA with the reasons the poppy symbol is so important, and the deal was back on.

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