Cleanliness of football kit
April 14, 2005 3:28 AM   Subscribe

Are there anything in the rules or regulations of football (soccer) concerning the cleanliness and state of a players football kit (top and shorts etc)?

I've seen referees check a players football boot studs and order a player to tuck their shirt in but is there anything concrete about this or the state of a players kit in the rules and regulations? Or is it just tradition?
posted by john-paul to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
In the 'Laws of the Game' at the official FIFA site, Law 4, concerning players' equipment, states:
The basic compulsory equipment of a player is:
* jersey or shirt;
* shorts – if thermal undershorts are worn, they are of the same main colour as the shorts;
* stockings;
* shinguards;
* footwear.
posted by misteraitch at 3:45 AM on April 14, 2005

And, the only stated restriction seems to be: 'A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).'
posted by misteraitch at 3:47 AM on April 14, 2005

There's a difference between the Laws of the Game, and Competition Rules. Any individual game of football is played according to the Laws of the Game, and I don't know of anything in there which regulates this sort of thing. I'm not even sure that numbers on shirts are a requirement, according to the Laws of the Game.

Competition Rules are the rules that govern how a competition (such as the Champions League, Premier League, MLS, etc) are organised. Competition rules can specify that a shirt must be tucked in at all times, govern the amount of advertising allowable on the kit, whether the shirts have numbers from 1-11, or whether each player in the squad is assigned a fixed number. Anything the organising committee wants, basically.
posted by salmacis at 5:10 AM on April 14, 2005

If football players are as superstitious as hockey players, they won't wash their uniforms, shave, etc., when they're on a winning streak. So the best teams stink.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:19 AM on April 14, 2005

Competition rules can vary wildly and are often in place because of the venue. My wife has probably a dozen different kinds of shoes for example just because of restriction on size, number and material of spikes/cleats depending on league or tournement and venue. Softball/fast pitch/slow pitch is the same way.
posted by Mitheral at 10:34 AM on April 14, 2005

As noted above, the only restriction in the law is that a player's equipment cannot endanger anyone on the pitch. I would suggest as a referee that there could be theoretical (although granted unlikely) instances where I might request a player clean mud of a shirt if it obstructed a Jersey number, or if it were so dirty as to make the jersey's colour unidentifiable... obviously that would be a bit of a long shot. The tucked in jerseys thing is partly in the name of order, but also because it makes it easy for the referee to see when somebody's being pulled on, as the shirt will come loose.

I guess also that if the gaps between the cleats were so filled with mud that the boot was essentially flat that could be considered dangerous. As always, this is at the discretion of match officials.
posted by cmyr at 10:35 PM on April 14, 2005

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