Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic did not wear a poppy on Saturday
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Manchester United's Nemanja Matic Will Not Wear Poppy Due To Attack 'Reminder'

The Manchester United footballer has explained why he will not wear a poppy on his shirt.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic did not wear a poppy on Saturday

The Premier League footballer did not wear a poppy on Saturday (Picture: PA).

Manchester United footballer Nemanja Matic has explained why he will not wear a poppy on his shirt.

The Serbian international did not wear a poppy as his side ran out 2-1 winners away at Bournemouth on Saturday.

The midfielder took to Instagram to explain his decision, which he says stems from the memories he has of when his village in Serbia was bombed as a 12-year-old.

"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," the 30-year-old explained. 

"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."

Matic said he "fully" recognises why people wear the poppies and respects their decision to do so, adding he has "total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict".

He also said: "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 will not wear a poppy on his jersey when his side takes on Manchester City on Remembrance Sunday - exactly 100 years on since the end of the First World War.

Last week, Stoke City footballer James McClean asked "people to be respectful" of his decision not to wear a poppy during matches in the Remembrance period.