Prime Minister Theresa May has joined the chorus welcoming FIFA’s climb down on its ban of players wearing poppies during international matches.

Earlier on Monday, sports minister Tracey Crouch said she welcomed the decision to “apply some common sense” and now Number 10 has chipped in as well.

A Downing Street spokesperson told Press Association Sport: “The PM made her position on this very clear last year when she said FIFA’s stance was outrageous.

EnglandWayne Rooney’s black armband with a poppy on during the World Cup qualifier with Scotland (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Our footballers want to recognise and respect those who have given their lives for our safety and security – and it’s right that they should be able to do so.

“We look forward to hearing from FIFA that this ban is going to be formally lifted.”

Last year, all four home nations were fined by football’s world governing body for ignoring its ban on players wearing slogans or symbols which are considered to be personal, political or religious.

But last week, FIFA issued new guidelines on the relevant law to its 211 member associations, with more flexibility given to what constitutes a “political” message.

In short, players may now wear poppies to commemorate their nation’s war dead providing the opposition has approved it and the match organisers have been told.

Crouch said: “I am pleased it appears FIFA is finally going to apply common sense and change its position on poppies.

WembleyA poppy on the big screen at Wembley Stadium in honour of Remembrance Day (Tony Marshall/PA)

“It is completely right that footballers and fans alike should be able to wear poppies with pride, as a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our servicemen and women.”

Shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan agreed, describing it as “an utterly ridiculous decision in the first place”.

FIFA’s U-turn, which still has to be formally ratified by the game’s law-making body the International Football Association Board, brings an end to a remarkable spat with the British FAs, led by the Football Association.

WalesSoliders during a Remembrance Day tribute at the Millennium Stadium (Simon Galloway/Empics)

Last December, the FA was fined £35,000 and the Scottish FA £15,000 for the commemoration activities that took place before and during the England-Scotland World Cup qualifier at Wembley on November 11, Armistice Day.

The Northern Irish and Welsh FAs were also fined for the same offence in their World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan (£11,000) and Serbia (£15,000), respectively.

The FA immediately said it would appeal against the FIFA disciplinary committee decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

That threat now vanishes and it is understood those fines were never paid and will simply be forgotten.

If England secure qualification to the 2018 World Cup in their final two qualifying games next week, they are scheduled to play a friendly against Germany at Wembley on November 10, when they will again be wearing poppies as the German FA has already given its consent.

The home nations have declined to comment on FIFA’s change of heart until the matter has been officially settled.