This Video from the... Ken Aston Referee Society -
The aim of this page is to know
When and how a referee should check players’ equipment,
And what action to take if any equipment is found to be faulty.
The basic compulsory equipment of a player is:
A jersey or shirt
Shorts - if thermal under shorts are worn, they are of the same main
color as the shorts
Are covered entirely by the stockings
Are made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, or similar substances)
Provide a reasonable degree of protection
Each goalkeeper wears colors which distinguish him from the other
players, the referee and the assistant referees
For any infringement of this Law:
The player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of
play to correct his equipment
The player leaves the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in
play, unless he has already corrected his equipment
Any player required to leave the field of play to correct his equipment
does not re-enter without the referee's permission
The referee checks that the player's equipment is correct before
allowing him to re-enter the field of play
The player is only allowed to re-enter the field of play when the ball
is out of play
A player who has been required to leave the field of play because of an
infringement of this Law and who enters (or re-enters) the field of play
without the referee's permission is cautioned and shown the yellow card.
Restart of Play
If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution: The match is
restarted by an indirect free kick taken by a player of the opposing
side, from the place where the ball was located when the referee stopped
1. When to Check:
Notwithstanding the *pre-match requirement to check players equipment at
the top levels of football, generally, the best time to check the
players' equipment is when the Referee walks onto the field of play -
this should allow sufficient time for players to correct any faults.
You can also check the player’s equipment at half time.
Some higher competitions require a dressing room check, in which case,
substitutes should also be checked when coming onto the field of play.
This is not generally required at local park level league games. In
international matches, international competitions, international club
competitions and friendly matches between clubs of different National
Associations, the Referee, prior to the start of the game, is required
to inspect the players' equipment and prevent any player whose equipment
does not conform to the requirements from playing until such time as it
does comply. The rules of any competition may include a similar
You don’t necessarily have to check every player, just use your common
sense, i.e. sharp finger rings are far more dangerous than small
Look for the obvious things such as:
Are shin guards worn? Or is anyone wearing dangerous chains or rings
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to
himself or another player. Shin guards are a compulsory item of a
player's basic equipment. The Law 4 requires that shin guards provide a
reasonable degree of protection. Law 5 states that the Referee ensures
that the players equipment meets the requirements of Law 4.
Also check any equipment when alerted during the game, following an
injury caused by a sharp stud etc - or when asked to do so by any other
player or person.
The referee is the sole
judge as to the safety of any equipment.
2. What to look for:
Check that teams are in clear distinguishing colors, if not, generally
ask the Home Team to provide an alternative strip. It can be very
confusing when teams are wearing similar colors. In some competitions,
the Away team should provide an alternative strip.
Goalkeepers must wear a color that distinguishes them from the referee,
assistant referees. & other players. Use common sense in allowing a
Goalkeeper to wear tracksuit bottoms if required.
The basic equipment consists of: Shirt: Shorts: Socks: Shin-guards: &
Any Thermal Under shorts must be
same color as the shorts:
Shin-guards to be covered entirely by socks and made of suitable
material such as rubber/plastic, and provide a reasonable protection.
Details covering advertising in particular, on players and officials
clothing are contained in the Wilts. County Handbook.
You cannot play in ‘skins’ - i.e. with no
Any bleeding player to be asked to leave the field of play for
treatment, do not hold up the game pending players return.
3. What Action should a Referee take?
During play (for minor law 4 infringements) the Referee can instruct a
player to leave field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play to
correct his equipment (unless he has already corrected his equipment).
The Referee does not necessarily have to stop play immediately for an
infringement of Law 4, thus avoiding any immediate confrontation with
the player concerned. However, if the player has not corrected the
problem with his equipment by the next time the ball goes out of play,
the Referee should instructed him to leave the field of play and correct
it. The player should not be allowed back on the field of play until the
next stoppage, and not until after having satisfied the Referee that
everything is in order. In other words - the Referee should check that
the player's equipment has been corrected before he can re-enter the
field of play: A player who has been prevented from taking part in the
game or a player who has been sent off the field of play for infringing
Law 4 must report to the Referee during a stoppage of the game and may
not enter or re-enter the field of play unless and until the Referee has
satisfied himself that the player is no longer infringing Law 4.
If the fault to the player's equipment is dangerous, then the Referee
should stop play and ask the player to leave the field of play
immediately to correct his equipment.
The player only re-enters the field of play with the referee’s
permission and only when the ball is
out of play:
The game must not be unduly delayed pending correction of equipment. The
Referee at the end of the half must add any time lost on.
If the referee finds that a player is wearing articles not permitted by
the Laws and which may constitute a danger to other players, he shall
order him to take them off. If he fails to carry out the Referee's
instruction, the player shall not take part in the match.
If a player re-enters the field of play without the referee’s
permission, that player can be cautioned.
Restarting of Play:
If play was stopped to administer a caution: Restart with an indirect
free kick taken by a player of the opposing side, from the place where
the ball was located when the Referee stopped the game.
Common sense dictates that there is no need to stop play for a temporary
accidental loss or misplacement of equipment, such as, footwear or
shin-guards, or when re-tying boot laces.
It is very important that the Referee - sets a good example in respect
of his own equipment and kit, aim to be a role model in all respects.
4. Fourth Official:
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Questions and Answers:
This web site and the advice and answers to any questions are not
sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The
opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official
interpretations of the Laws of the Game. Although the content of the
latest Laws are included on this site, the majority of the content is
the opinion of the Webmaster and other Referees worldwide. If you need
an official ruling you should contact your local
representative/association or visit the FIFA, or the English FA web
sites for the Laws themselves.
Questions and Answers:
Question 1: To enable the
Referee to determine who has possibly punched a ball in a crowded
penalty area, is it true that goalkeepers' shirts must have long
sleeves? If a short-sleeved arm was seen to be punching the ball away,
the Referee could easily see that it did not belong to the goalkeeper.
Answer 1: This is a question
that I have come up against several times. I am not sure where it
originated from, but the goalkeeper does NOT have to wear long sleeves.
In fact, the 2000/2001 season's new Manchester United (and French
national team) goalkeeper Barthez always wears short sleeves.
Goalkeepers have to wear colors that distinguish them from other players
and the Referee - this helps Referees to identify goalkeepers in crowded
situations within the penalty area.
Question 2: After receiving
treatment from the team doctor, a player asks permission to re-enter the
field of play. Closer inspection by the Referee reveals that a bandage
covering the player's elbow is semi-hard and constitutes a danger to
other players. Can the Referee refuse entry onto the field of play, even
though the Doctor had placed the covering onto the player’s arm?
Answer 2: The Referee is the
sole judge on the suitability of players' equipment. Law 5 states that
the Referee ensures that the players' equipment meets the requirements
of Law 4 - this covers equipment that is dangerous to the player himself
or to other players. In all cases, the Referee (and not the Doctor)
makes the decision on the suitability of whether the bandage is safe or
Question 3: What is the
maximum legal length for replaceable 'screw-in' studs on shoes?
Answer 3: There is nothing in
the Laws to state any maximum/minimum dimensions for studs. Some
competition rules ask Referees to inspect players’ footwear before play
can begin. In these cases common sense should prevail. If the Referee
thinks that the studs are too long or are damaged in any way, he can
insist in the damaged studs being replaced. Longer studs are used during
very wet or muddy conditions, but long studs can also cause injury to
the players themselves, when they attempt to turn quickly - resulting in
knee or ankle ligament damage because the boot has not been freely and
quickly released from the ground. The Referee can refuse to allow a
player to play with footwear that in his (the Referee's) opinion is a
danger. It is the Referee's decision that counts - and nobody else's.
Some schools and colleges do apply limits to stud dimensions. For
example, one school in America has a limit on the length and minimum
diameter of replaceable studs - the maximum length in this case being
There is also nothing in the Laws to stipulate what material studs
should be made of. Materials can include plastic, rubber and even
aluminum. The greatest danger with general studs is that they can become
very sharp due to damage. This can sometimes occur when players have to
walk long distances along roads between the changing rooms and the field
of play. Metal studs can sometimes be safer than nylon/hard rubber studs
because they don't wear so easily or get sharp. Metal studs are
perfectly acceptable - (albeit the I am not totally convinced that they
should be allowed.) Some recreational leagues prohibit the use of metal
studs. The Referee must read all competition rules to ascertain any
particular stipulations covering the checking of footwear.
Question 4: Are players
allowed to wear 'bladed studs' on their football boots?
Answer 4: On 10 Dec 2001 the
Football Association (FA) in England confirmed in a letter to all its
Referees that football boots with non-conventional studs (e.g. blades)
are not banned. This was in response to a number of stories circulating
in both the regional and national media regarding the alleged safety of
football boots with 'blades' rather than traditional studs. Concerns had
been raised by a number of Referees in England. Non- conventional studs
(some of which have been referred to in the media as 'blade studs') are
available from a number of different manufacturers. The FA are satisfied
that non-conventional studs are no more dangerous than normal studs and
should be treated as such under the Laws of the Game. Law 4 and Law 5
make it clear that it is the sole discretion of the Referee, which items
of equipment may be worn and whether or not items of equipment
constitute a danger. Referees must continue to check all equipment
before a game in compliance with these laws. Any decision under Law 4
and 5 should not be based on arbitrary judgments such as style, make or
manufacturer of equipment or apparel. Referees should refer to the Laws
of Associated Football handbook page 17 which states " A Referee is not
held liable for any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or
spectator. This may include a decision to allow or not allow a player to
wear certain apparel or equipment".
Question 5: Is an outfield
player allowed to wear a cap? Goalkeepers seem to be allowed to wear
caps, so why can't outfield players be allowed?
Answer 5: Law 4 does not
include headgear as part of players' equipment. Headgear is therefore
not strictly permitted within the Laws. However, due to the effects of
sunlight, goalkeepers are generally allowed dispensation to wear caps,
so long as it does not constitute a danger to other players. Sweat bands
or head bands are sometimes allowed by Referees to be worn to protect
scar tissue - but players should not by Law be allowed to wear
decorative items - these are not part of the (Law 4) players’ equipment.
Players who wear headgear usually do so for a specific medical reason
(or to hold the hair back in place). If the reason is justified and the
headgear is not dangerous – what difference does it make? If the
headgear is solely used to give one team an advantage over the other
team (such as an attacker who is good at heading the ball wearing a
bright colored cap to be easily identified by his colleagues) then this
should not be allowed. The wearing of headgear just for the ‘wearer’s’
sake is against the spirit of the game and should not be allowed.
Difficulties can arise when players of a religious nature insist on
wearing their respective headgear. In such cases, the Referee is the
sole judge as to whether the headgear constitutes a danger to the player
or to other players.
Question 6: Are players
allowed to wear glasses (spectacles) whilst they are playing?
Answer 6: Yes, as long as the
Referee is satisfied that the glasses are not dangerous to the player
himself or to opponents. Players with a stigmatism have been known to
play with properly designed sports glasses, which pose no danger to
other players or themselves. The Dutch player Edgar David’s sometimes
plays with properly designed sporting flexible shatterproof glasses,
which do not pose any danger to him or other players. With glass lenses,
there is a great risk that a ball may catch a player in the face and
break the glasses. Sharp, broken objects and glass, flying in the eye
can cause serious damage. These days, most lenses are constructed with
plastic, and therefore the risk is far less.
Orthodontic teeth braces also pose some risk to the player wearing them.
Lips and mouth can get caught or cut by hard impacts with the ball.
Players should be advised to invest in custom-fitted mouth guards to
protect their teeth in such cases.
Question 7: During a stoppage
in the game, the Referee asks a player to leave the field of play
because he is not wearing shin-guards. A few moments later that same
player scores a goal. The Referee suddenly notices that this player is
still not wearing shin-guards. What action should the Referee take, and
is the goal legal?
Answer 7: Firstly, the Referee
should have checked that the player had put on shin-guards before
allowing him to re-enter the field of play. If the Referee had granted
permission for the player to re-enter the field of play without
shin-guards, then he (the Referee) is at fault. The sole blame cannot
then be put on the player. At the very worst, the Referee could caution
the player for not putting on shin-guards when he had been instructed to
do so - but the Referee should take all the blame in this instance. The
goal should be allowed to stand.
If the player had re-entered the field of play without the Referee's permission
and then scored the goal, then he should be cautioned. The goal should
not be allowed to stand and play would normally be restarted with an
indirect free kick to the opposition. But in this case, as the ball is
already out of play when the Referee notices the illegal player, I would
suggest that a goal kick to the opposition would suffice. In reality,
this player has actually committed two caution able offences (1.
Unsporting behavior - for not putting on the shin-guard when ordered to
do so by the Referee. AND 2. Re-entering the field without the Referee's
permission) the Referee could issue two yellow cards (= sending-off).
If the player never left the field of play at all, as ordered to do so
by the Referee, the player would be guilty unsporting behavior (or
dissent) and should be cautioned. But once again, the Referee should
'shoulder' some blame for this, as he (the Referee) should have made
sure the player left the field of play. The goal in this instance should
not stand (because the player had been asked to leave the field of play
by the Referee, and as such, is not a legal player until he re-enters
the field of play correctly). Restart as above.
In all cases above, the player should leave the field of play to put on
his shin-guards before he can be allowed to take any further part in the
If the kick-off is taken
after the goal has been scored and THEN the Referee notices that the
player who scored the goal had re-entered the game without his
permission, then the goal is valid. Law 5 states that the Referee cannot
change a decision once the game has been restarted.
Question 8: Are players
allowed to wear shin guards that are especially small? This has become a
bit of a trend amongst some younger players?
Answer 8: Older players will sometimes wear very small shin-guards
clearly meant for much younger minor players. These do not provide the
required (Law 4) degree of protection, and the Referee should therefore
not permit players to wear them. Law 4 states that shin-guards should
provide a reasonable degree of protection. Law 5 also states that the
Referee ensures that the players' equipment meets the requirements of
Law 4. In this case, the Referee would be within his rights to insist on
proper sized shin-guards being worn.
The smaller shin-guards are not as protective as normal-size shin-guards
and offer little or no protection. Shin-guards must be worn, and they
must be designed to protect the shins and not just some temporary item
such as cardboard intended to comply with the letter of the Law, and not
the 'spirit of the game'. Shin-guards must be constructed of material
sufficiently rigid and hard enough to provide a reasonable protection
against injury of the players' legs.
It can be argued that a Referee who insists on such matters is only
causing problems between himself and the players before the game even
starts, and that if players want to get bruised shins then let them
learn the hard way. This of course is nonsense, and the Laws now clearly
stipulate that proper shin-guards MUST be worn. The "it will be alright"
attitude must be stopped. Young players need to be educated correctly
for their own future protection. If all Referees insisted on the correct
shin-guards being worn, then everyone will soon be wearing the right
shin-guards. I still have a lump the size of an egg on my shin, the
legacy of a fierce challenge between myself and a goalkeeper some twenty
years ago. I was probably the only one then in my team who always wore
shin-guards (before it was made mandatory) I could barely walk for about
a week afterwards, BUT I dread to think of the consequences had I not
been wearing good quality shin-guards. I still wince when I think about
it over twenty years later.
There was a time (before players were made to wear shin-guards) when it
was 'trendy' to play with no shin-guards and with the socks rolled down.
This resulted in many serious injuries occurring. The wearing of proper
shin-guards is to protect players in a vulnerable area of the leg.
Players have now started to roll their socks down past their shin-guards
in another attempt to look 'trendy'. This must also be stopped - Law 4
states that shin-guards must be entirely covered by the stockings!
Standards should never be lowered just to please players who think it is
trendy (or macho!) to expose your shins to opponents.
Question 9: Can two
goalkeepers play with the same colored shirts?
Answer 9: In theory, Law 4 states that: "Goalkeepers must wear a color
that distinguishes them from the Referee, Assistant Referees. & Other
players". So it could be argued that both goalkeepers should not wear
the same colored shirts. The reasoning behind this is to prevent
confusion if one of the goalkeepers decides to come up field. During a
corner kick taken in his opponents half of the field of play. Confusion
could arise if the defending goalkeeper and the attacking goalkeeper,
both contest for the ball in a crowded penalty area.
But Law 18 Common Sense should prevail; certainly at the lower levels
where spare Goalkeeping shirts are unheard of. In such cases, if no
spare shirts are available, I would allow the goalkeepers to wear
similar colored shirts.
Question 10: Can a Referee
ask a player to remove a medical identification bracelet (for instance a
Answer 10: Ultimately, the Referee is responsible for ensuring that
players do not wear anything that is dangerous - but in cases like this,
there are other steps that can be taken. Firstly, check that the
player's team colleagues and manager or coach knows of the player’s
condition. And ensure any medical attendants are informed of what the
player’s insulin requirements are.
If the bracelet poses no danger to the players then it can be allowed.
The bracelet can be taped over to provide protection against damage to
others - this also applies to medical necklaces that can be taped to the
Question 11: Should a trainer be allowed to put muddy water (from the
'bucket') onto a bleeding wound?
Answer 11: Although the Referee has no authority to stop such an action,
he can certainly strongly advise for the muddy water NOT to put on the
bleeding wound - and I have done so many times.
Question 12: Is a player allowed to wear ear studs?
Answer 12: Law 4 states that a player must not use equipment or wear
anything, which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any
kind of jewelry). Players wearing earrings must be told to remove them
or to tape them up. One point worth mentioning - if the Referee were to
allow a player to have taped earrings and then that player receives an
injury because of the taped earring damaging his ear - the Referee might
leave himself open to a lawsuit from the player or the player's parents
or the players club who could fault for the Referee not following Law 4.
The danger of wearing the earrings is that they could become imbedded
into the player’s ear causing untold damage.
There is room for a little bit of leniency or common sense when applying
this Law. The Referee is the sole judge as to whether an article is
dangerous or not. Small ear studs do not necessarily pose a problem and
may be allowed to remain, so long as they do not have any sharp or
protruding edges - it is the individual Referees' decision. It could be
argued that a hard ball hitting the side of the head might cause a stud
to pierce the skin at the back of the ear.
Some Referees will strictly adhere to the Law about removing jewelry
(including ear studs), while others may allow some leniency. Both
Referees may be right, but it depends on the Referee at that particular
game, and his word is final. It is up to the Referee to judge equipment
safety, unless the competition authority has stipulated specific
prohibitions or allowances. The Referee should not sanction anything
that appears unsafe.
Taking all things into consideration, it is advisable for Referees to
always insist on the removal of all ear jewelry. Removing earrings
before a game is not really a problem - pierced ears do not close up
after an hour or so of no earrings! And if players really want to play,
they will take them out. One of the frustrating aspects for managers and
players is that just because one Referee allows them to wear certain
equipment it does not mean the next Referee will - but such is life!
Question 13: Are players allowed to wear a black or white tight (cycling
type) shorts underneath their soccer shorts.
Answer 13: Law 5 refers to these as "thermal shorts". They can be worn
as long as they are the same color as the shorts. Therefore, black
thermal shorts are legal if worn under black shorts, and white thermal
shorts are legal if worn under white shorts. But white thermal shorts
are not legal if worn under black shorts - it would look daft anyway!
Question 14: Is a player who is being substituted allowed to hand over
his shirt to the oncoming substitute?
Answer 14: There is nothing in the Laws to stop this happening, but
problems can arise if the Referee has to later discipline the oncoming
player who is wearing the same shirt and number, of another player
disciplined earlier in the game. The Referee could include this
information in his match report after the game. He also needs to mention
it to the team managers or coaches after the game. The competition
authorities will then be responsible for taking any action they feel is
warranted. The best advice to Referees - is to get into the habit of
always taking player's names when you discipline then, and not rely
solely on the team-sheet and shirt numbers.
It is difficult enough for Referees to keep notice of players' faces
whilst concentrating on the game action - without the added confusion of
swapped shirt numbers to contend with.
Question 15: Are goalkeepers’ jerseys required to have a number on them?
And if so, what should the number be?
Answer 15: Most league rules stipulate that all players wear clearly
numbered jerseys. The Laws do not mandate that player's (including the
goalkeeper) should have specific numbers. Among some leagues that
required numbered jerseys, some authorities make an exception for
goalkeepers. Goalkeepers' jerseys are permitted to have any number on
them, so long as it is a different number to that worn by the other
members of his team. It very often happens that when teams have two
goalkeepers, they only have one Goalkeeping jersey between them. I do
not think this is a big issue for Referees to worry about. Goalkeepers
are very distinguishable from other players, so this should not really
be a problem to Referees.
Question 16: Are there any Laws governing the size permissible for
goalkeepers' gloves, or is there a limit to the size and the type of
materials that can be used to construct the gloves
Answer 16: There is nothing within the Laws to regulate the size of
goalkeepers' gloves. So long as they do not constitute a danger to
himself or other players, then there is nothing much the Referee can do
about it. Use your common sense (Law 18).
Question 17: Are players allowed to wear the captain’s armband on their
Answer 17: It is traditional for the captain to wear the band on the arm
(after all, it is called an armband!). The wearing of the armband is not
covered in the Laws. Some younger players and female players wear the
armband on their leg because the bands are too big for their arms. As it
does not affect the safety, or the action of the game in any way, apply
common sense and allow the game to continue.
When is an armband not an armband? When it is a leg band!
Questions 18: Exactly what kind of shoes can players wear when playing
Answer 18: Any type of shoe (football boots) can be worn, as long as
they do not pose a danger to the player himself or any other player.
Shoes are a player's most important piece of equipment as they are
designed to give players' maximum ideal traction and grip, and to
facilitate improved control of the ball. Players will normally wear
shoes made specifically for football, constructed of soft leather uppers
and manmade soles - thus giving a good feel when controlling the ball.
New materials and designs (example - bladed studs) have come into the
market to allow greater traction, additional friction and flexibility
and allow players to put extra spin on the ball.
Most players use molded stud football boots on dry or solid ground (or
on slightly wet grass and light mud conditions). Molded boots can be
versatile and comfortable to wear. If the ground is very dry and or
hard, 'trainers', or turf boots (constructed with small rubber
multi-studded bottoms, designed for artificial surfaces) are ideal and
far more comfortable than traditional football boots. 'Screw-in' studded
football boots are used on soft ground, or in very muddy conditions.
Screw-in studs provide optimum traction for players in wet conditions.
Some players (including Pelé) were brought up playing football on the
beaches and grass areas using their bare feet - although this is not
permitted in a normal football game for obvious reasons.
Law 4 does not stipulate any technical specifications such as material
type or stud size for shoes. The Referee at each game is solely
responsible in ruling whether a shoe may or may not be used. The general
concern with footwear is whether the studs have sharp edges that could
Question 19: In very cold weather (and we have plenty of that during our
football season in England) can any special clothing such as long pants
be worn by players?
Answer 19: If you are lucky, the Competition rules may stipulate which
additional players’ equipment can be worn by goalkeepers and/or outfield
players during bad weather. In general, the Referee must apply common
sense in what can, and what cannot be allowed. So long as the equipment
does not pose a danger to the player himself, or to other players, then
it is OK. Goalkeepers very often wear long pants indoors or when a field
outside is too hard or rough. The wearing of long pants is becoming a
common practice for goalkeepers. This gives them added protection during
challenges for the ball. I personally think that goalkeepers should be
allowed to wear a suit of armor! Who’d be a goalkeeper?
Most youth leagues allow the wearing of long pants under the shorts when
it is cold or raining. It must be remembered, that young players cannot
run about to warm themselves up quickly like adult players can, so they
should be sensibly protected from the elements - including wearing
gloves and soft caps if necessary. Referees should however, always check
the competition rules concerning players' equipment beforehand. But
common sense is the best Law - it is fairly obvious when the weather is
bad and players need extra protection.
Question 20: Who decides when there is a clash of team kit colors?
Answer 20: The respective League and competition Rules and Instructions
stipulate action to be taken if there is a clash of kit colors.
For example – The English FA Cup Rule states:
(a) Where the colors (shirts, shorts or stockings) of the two competing
Clubs are similar, both Clubs must change unless the competing Clubs
mutually agrees alternative arrangements.
(b) In the event of the Clubs not agreeing upon the colors to be worn,
the Council shall decide. Goalkeepers must wear colors, which
distinguish them from the other players, and the Match Officials.
(c) Clubs’ colors must not clash with the black and white outfit worn by
the Match Officials. From the First to the Sixth Round Proper, where
there is a clash of color between the referees kit and the players kit,
the referee may, with the prior approval of The Association, change to
an alternative color.
Sponsors also have an influence on the choice of kits, as do television
companies who are televising the game.
At the lower levels of football. The respective League Rules will
normally nominate either the Home Team or the Away Team as being
responsible of changing kit if there is a clash of colors.
In UEFA a committee decides this decision.
Question 21: Should players wear a numbered jersey?
Answer 21: There is no requirement in the Laws of Associated Football
(Law 4 The Players' Equipment) to have numbers on the players' Jersey.
BUT - most competition Rules (i.e. the League in which the game is
played, stipulate that numbers on jerseys must be worn). Of course, it
is much easier for the Referee when players wear numbers on their
Argentina once fielded outfield players in two World Cups with the
number 1 jersey (Alonso in 78 and Ardiles in 82), There are no rules
against it, but assigning the number 1 shirt to an outfield player seems
Question 22: In a game the other day, one of the goalkeepers was wearing
a black jersey similar to the Referee's top. I thought that they had to
wear different colors to the Referee and other players?
Answer 22: Yep. You’re right there. Law 4 - Players Equipment states:
"Goalkeepers must wear a color that distinguishes them from the referee,
assistant referees. "
Looks like somebody forgot to read the rules then. But let’s not loose
too much sleep over that. It’s not as though the game was lost or won
just because they all wore green vests. Or is it just another excuse to
have a pop at Referees. It’s hardly going to win the war. Believe it or
not – the teams themselves are the ones who you should be asking. They
are given copies of each competition rules, and are responsible for
ensuring this does not happen – more so than the Referee.
Question 23: Can a Referee tell a player to tuck his shirt inside his
Answer 23: There is nothing to stop players wearing their shirts outside
of their shorts. You cannot (and should not) tell a player to tuck his
Question 24: What color should Referees' shirts be in England?
Answer 24: Please find below an excerpt approved by FA Council:
FA Regulations for the Control and Registration of Referees dated 30
Paragraph 10 states:
All match officials in Competitions under the jurisdiction of The
Association and Affiliated Association must wear uniforms comprising
plain black shirts with white collars and black shorts. Socks shall be
black and may have another color at the top. Such colors must be in
accord with the single color used on the shirt collar.
The following Competitions may be exempt from the above, on application
to The Association subject to the conditions below.
The F.A. Premier League
The Football League
Competitions of Panel and Contributory League Status
Approval will be considered only of shirts that are predominantly black,
with collars of a single color."
Question 25: During a challenge for the ball, an attacker gains
possession of the ball. In doing so, he loses his right boot - he then
immediately kicks the ball with his right foot and scores a goal -is the
Answer 25: As the player accidentally lost his boot, he not
intentionally plays barefooted. The goal must be allowed to stand.