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Matic explains not wearing a poppy

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Matic pictured after losing the 2018 FA Cup final against Chelsea. AFP

Matic explains not wearing a poppy

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,296

Nemanja Matic says he will not wear a poppy on his Man Utd shirt because it reminds him of when his village was bombed when he was 12.

The bombing, in 1999, was part of a Nato-led offensive to drive out Serbian forces from Kosovo.

Matic, who did not wear a poppy during Manchester United's victory against Bournemouth, has revealed his reasons on his latest Instagram account. 

In a thoughtful and classy statement, Matic said: "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."

Matic confirmed he would again not wear one for this weekend's Manchester derby, which will take place on Remembrance Sunday.

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