A WIGAN MEP has condemned moves to make sportsmen wear the EU flag on their national team shirts.

The borough’s UKIP man in Brussels Paul Nuttall said it was “outrageous” that the Culture Committee in the European Parliament now wants to push the UK to fly the EU flag at major sporting events and display the flag on footballers’ jerseys.

He said: “Athletes are proud to play for England or run for Great Britain, they have no love or allegiance to the EU so why should they be pushed to wear this flag of occupation on their jerseys?’

“This is another desperate bid by the EU to promote itself in the face of growing opposition to what it is doing to people’s lives and livelihoods.

“Hopefully this idea of flying EU flags will sink as quickly at the Euro currency is at the moment. It seems to be like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.”

The plans are contained in a report on ‘The European Dimension in Sport’ which was approved by the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee.

Following an outcry it has been conceded that members states should be allowed to make the final decision on whether the EU flag should be displayed on clothing.

Mr Nuttall said: “There is no way that our Government can go along with this plan, they must put their foot down firmly and kick this idea into touch.”