Nemanja Matić Explains Why He Refused to Wear the Poppy

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The Manchester United and Serbian player came off the bench for the Red Devils against Spur at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as they defeated the North London club three goals to nil. The Poppy has long been a controversial issue for some players in the Premier League and the Serb explains why he refuses to wear one.

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“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.

Nemanja Matic

“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.”

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