Players banned from shirt messages in Brazil

Players in this summer's World Cup will be banned from displaying any messages on under-shirts.

AS Roma forward Bojan Krkic

New rules come into force from June 1 saying players should not display any personal slogans at all on shirts they are wearing under their kit.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the International FA Board, the game's law-making body, in Zurich.

 FIFA's secretary general Jerome Valcke told a news conference in Zurich: "It is definitely decided that players must not have any slogan or statement, and we are making the decision that it will apply to the World Cup and it will be enforced from June 1 and not July 1."

The Football Association had proposed the ban to make sure there was a consistent message and its general secretary Alex Horne said: "The idea is to get some consistency. The simplest rule for the image of the game is to start from the basis that slogans will not be allowed."

Personal messages on shirts have been used by players to pay tribute to dead colleagues, as well as light-hearted slogans such as Mario Balotelli's 'why always me' T-shirt.

Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said some IFAB members did consider whether an outright ban would be "a little bit churlish".

He added: "Everyone agreed about political or religious statements but on personal statements some of us did consider how far are we going.

"We decided however it was easier for us to say it has no place in the game."

Referees will not, however, book players who display messages - disciplinary action will be down to competition organisers after the match.

The IFAB agreed to continue with pilot studies of sin-bins instead of yellow cards, but that a recent trial at a UEFA under-16 tournament at St George's Park near Burton was "not by any means a success".

UEFA's proposal to change the laws so that players who concede a penalty are only cautioned rather than sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity was also rejected.

Horne said that other possible changes - such as removing the one-match ban for players sent off in such circumstances - would be discussed next year but that removing the red card punishment would more "reopen the door to more cynical fouls" in the box.

The IFAB also agreed to pursue more trials to allow unlimited or rolling substitutes at grass-roots level following the success of experiments carried out in Scotland which has led to a rise in participation numbers.

Finally, it was agreed that Sikh men would be allowed to wear approved head coverings in game following a similar ruling for women.



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