By 90Min
November 05, 2018

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has explained his decision not to wear a poppy on his jersey this weekend.

The Serbian did not wear a depiction of the ceremonial flower during United's 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and explained in an Instagram post that he isn't planning to have one displayed on his uniform in the games which follow.

The United enforcer revealed that the poppy now serves as a poignant reminder of when his village was bombed by NATO when he was a 12-year-old boy.

He posted a message to Instagram in which he claimed to respect people's right to wear poppies, but insisted won't be wearing himself.

"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," Matic wrote. "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."

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