The prime minister said it was “absurd” that football’s ruling body Fifa has banned England players from having the poppy embroidered on their shirts for Saturday’s match.

Fifa turned down a special request from the team, saying that football must maintain its neutrality and that it wearing poppies were allowed it would “open the door to similar initiatives”.

In a letter to the FA, Fifa said: “We confirm herewith that the suggested embroidery on the match shirt cannot be authorised.

There are a variety of options where the FA can continue supporting the cause of remembrance. One of them already was approved by Fifa, the period of silence.”

The director general of the Royal British Legion, which organises the annual Poppy Appeal, said: “The Legion never insists that the poppy be worn or insists that others allow it to be worn. We are grateful when people wear it as a sign of respect, but the decision must be a free one – after all, the poppy represents sacrifices made in the cause of our freedoms.”

FA officials have already planned two-minutes silence during the training session on Friday, during which time players will be wearing poppies.

A minute’s silence will also be observed before Saturday’s international friendly and a poppy wreath will be laid.

On Twitter, most commentators are angry about Fifa’s decision.

“Well done to the FA for trying so hard and #FIFA’S u are a disgrace to our Heroes,” said one person.

Another tweeted: “FIFA’s decision is nonsense, if they allow players to wear black armbands out of respect for someone who has died, then why not poppies?”

What do you think?