The days when football players could celebrate goals by displaying private messages on their undershirts are soon to be over.
Although overt slogans have long been banned by football’s world governing body FIFA, football’s rulemakers – the International Football Association Board (IFAB) – on Saturday decided on a blanket ban to cover all types of messages.
The ban will take affect from June 1 – after that players caught breaking this rule will be punished by competition organisers rather than receiving a yellow card.
Secretary General of FIFA, Jerome Valcke said: “It’s better to say ‘no’ and to have a clean situation than to say, ‘maybe yes, but it depends on what it is exactly and if it’s bad you will be sanctioned but that’s a disciplinary body will do it after the game’, or if it’s good, ‘OK, it can be accepted’, that’s impossible.”
At the general meeting in Zurich IFAB also said the ‘triple punishment’ where a player is sent off, concedes a penalty and is subsequently suspended for stopping a clear goalscoring opportunity will remain in place despite UEFA president Michel Platini’s calls for change.
IFAB also discussed the potential use of video replays.
But the body, which comprises of the four British associations and four representatives of FIFA, said the only technology that should be used in the sport is the recently introduced goal-line technology.
At the meeting IFAB also officially authorized the use of headscarves or turbans following a trial period of 20 months.
The rule stipulates the veil or turban should be attached to the shirt and not constitute a danger to the user or opponent.