Man Utd news: Nemanja Matic has explained why he refuses to wear a poppy

Nemanja Matic

Manchester United were in desperate need of all three points as they visited the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday evening.

Many believed that if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was to lose again, it would be his final match in charge of the Red Devils.

Six days previously, United had been humbled 5-0 at home to Liverpool that left many supporters calling for Solskjaer to be sacked.



But the Norwegian lived on to fight another day and that day came in north London against Spurs.

Solskjaer fielded a back-three and went with experience to try and turn around their recent results.

“We’ve put a few more experienced players in there,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“We need to have that experience and a solid foundation to perform from. That’s the main thing.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Despite going for ‘experience’ and a ‘solid foundation’, Solskjaer’s starting line-up didn’t include 33-year-old defensive midfielder, Nemanja Matic. Instead, it was a midfield duo of Fred and Scott McTominay who helped United come away with a 3-0 victory.

However, Matic did come onto the pitch with 15 minutes remaining in place of Bruno Fernandes.

And those eagle-eyed folk amongst you may have noticed that Matic’s shirt was a little different to everyone else’s.

With Remembrance Sunday two weeks away, the Premier League have been paying their respects with the wearing of poppies.

However, Matic’s shirt didn’t include one.

Nemanja Matic


Well, three years ago, he explained his decision with an eloquent statement.

Matic wrote: “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.”

The British Legion’s Poppy Appeal have always said that “It’s a matter of personal choice whether someone chooses to wear a poppy and how they choose to wear it.”

It’s always important to consider other people’s views when it comes to wearing poppies and Matic has explained perfectly why he chooses not to.

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