Sunday, November 13, 2011

13 November 2010 - The Other Poppy Controversy

In the wake of this past week's debate over whether FIFA would allow England to wear poppies on their shirts for their friendly against Spain, we look back at another poppy-related controversy from last year.

On 13 November 2010, Airdrie United printed a special prematch program in honor of Remembrance Day. But made a pretty embarrassing mistake.

The club sold the program before a Scottish Division Two match against Livingston. As a nod to match sponsors Network Rail, Airdrie selected a cover photo of soldiers on a train, accompanied by the words "Lest We Forget" and the logo of veterans' charity PoppyScotland, which included the legend "Supporting Our Heroes."

Unfortunately for Airdrie, the soldiers in the photo weren't who the club thought they were. Instead, the picture showed a group of Nazi soldiers. After a supporter brought that fact to the club's attention, chairman Jim Ballantyne quickly apologized for the error. Club secretary Ann Marie Ballantyne added "It certainly was not deliberate. We were told the soldiers were Australian." She further explained that they had received the photo from PoppyScotland, but the charity denied the claim, calling the program gaffe "unfortunate."

It wasn't the day's only disappointment for Airdrie, as Network Rail--whose sponsorship prompted the use of the photo--withdrew prior to the match. And Airdrie lost, 0-1.

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