Nemanja Matic Explains Why He Didn't Wear A Poppy Against Bournemouth
Nemanja Matic has taken to social media to explain why he decided against joining in the recent tradition of wearing a poppy on his football shirt during the period around Remembrance Day.
With Remembrance Day just around the corner football teams have once again been buying into the recent tradition of adorning their kits with poppies and standing for a minutes silence before kick off.
On Sunday with it being Bournemouth's closest home game to the day the Cherries and Manchester United stood for their minutes silence and both teams had poppies on their shirts.
Conspicuous by the absence of the flower on his kit was United midfielder Nemanja Matic. Of course he's well within his rights not to wear one but as is the way of social media there were plenty of people ready to have a go at him.
Now Matic has released a statement on Instagram explaining why he decided against wearing one, saying:
"I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone's right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict.
"However, for me it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999. Whilst I have done so previously, on reflection I now don't feel it is right for me to wear the poppy on my shirt.
"I do not want to undermine the poppy as a symbol of pride within Britain or offend anyone, however, we are all a product of our own upbringing and this is a personal choice for the reasons outlined.
"I hope everyone understands my reasons now that I have explained them and I can concentrate on helping the team in the games that lie ahead."
It is of course this time of the year when Stoke City's James McCLean will come under similar scrutiny for not wearing a poppy for any matches.
The Republic of Ireland international, who was born in Northern Ireland, is being investigated by the FA after an incident at the end of the Potter's game at the weekend.
The winger and the Middlesbrough fans clashed in the corner of the ground with verbals exchanged between player and opposing fans.
It's a huge shame that players can't be allowed to make their own decision on the poppy without people castigating them for it.