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SBD Global/March 3, 2014/International Football

Int'l Football Association Board Bans Use Of Undergarments With Images Or Slogans

Goal celebrations like this one from Mario Balotelli in '11 will be banned June 1.
Football's lawmakers have banned players from "wearing undergarments with images, slogans or messages on them," according to Peter Wilson of the SUNDAY TIMES. The "new ruling," which was proposed by the FA, will "come into force on June 1, in time for the World Cup in Brazil." The law had previously related "only to political and religious statements and advertising." The Int'l Football Association Board, the body that "oversees changes to the laws of the game, said that although breaking the rule would not be a yellow-card offence, players could be disciplined by competition organisers." FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that "even 'good-natured' messages would be banned" (SUNDAY TIMES, 3/2). REUTERS' Brian Homewood reported "overt slogans have long been banned by FIFA," but players often "lift up their shirts after scoring to show other messages like birthday greetings or a message for the birth of a baby." Although many slogans that players display "are of solidarity, Valcke said it had been decided to impose a blanket ban to avoid confusion." Valcke: "It's easier to say no. Sometimes, we are criticized for saying no but what is the definition of a nice message?" (REUTERS, 3/1).

FIFA APPROVES VEILS, TURBANS: The AFP reported FIFA officially authorized the "wearing of head covers for religious purposes during matches." This will allow "female muslim players who wear a veil in everyday life to cover their heads during matches, and Valcke added that male players will also be authorised to do so following a request from the Sikh community of Canada." Valcke: "It will be a basic head cover and the color should be the same as the team jersey." The wearing of head covers "had been banned" until '12 (AFP, 3/1).

'TRIPLE PUNISHMENT' NOT UNDER REVIEW: SKY SPORTS reported "at the same meeting on Saturday morning," IFAB rejected a proposal from UEFA to "review the so-called 'triple punishment.'" This occurs when a player is "sent off, concedes a penalty and is later suspended for stopping a goalscoring opportunity." Scottish FA CEO Stewart Regan said, "We don't want to flip back to where we were before where some goalkeepers knew that if they could not be sent off, they would simply take out the attacker. It will make such an impact on the game of football if it's changed, we have got to get it right." And there will be "no extension in the use of technology, which will be restricted to goal-line verdicts only." Valcke said, "There is a risk that using the video will change the nature of the game and maybe we will reach the day when the referee will ask one day to stop the game to make sure he has made the right decision" (SKY SPORTS, 3/1).
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