The Players Equipment

Clarification on Player Equipment

A reminder to all those who play football within Staffordshire that equipment and clothing worn on the pitch must be safe and appropriate.

Please see below for all clarification on Law 4 of The FA’s Laws of the Game relating to the player’s equipment. 


All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. The use of tape to cover jewellery is not permitted (see below regarding jewellery worn for cultural or faith based needs).

The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorised/dangerous equipment or jewellery, the referee must order the player to:

• Remove the item
• Leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply

A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.

Compulsory Equipment:

The compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

• A shirt with sleeves
• Shorts
• Socks – tape or any material applied or worn externally must be the same colour as that part of the sock it is applied to or covers
• Shinguards – these must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks
• Appropriate footwear

A player whose footwear or shinguard is lost accidentally must replace it as soon as possible and no later than when the ball next goes out of play; if before doing so the player plays the ball and/or scores a goal, the goal is awarded.

Goalkeepers may wear tracksuit bottoms.


• The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the match officials
• Each goalkeeper must wear colours that are distinguishable from the other players and the match officials
• If the two goalkeepers’ shirts are the same colour and neither has another shirt, the referee allows the match to be played.

Undershirts must be: 
• A single colour which is the same colour as the main colour of the shirt sleeve; or
• A pattern/colours which exactly replicate(s) the shirt sleeve

Undershorts/tights must be the same colour as the main colour of the shorts or the lowest part of the shorts – players of the same team must wear the same colour.

Other Equipment:

Non-dangerous protective equipment, for example headgear, facemasks and knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight padded material is permitted as are goalkeepers’ caps and sports spectacles.

Head Wear:

Where head wear (excluding goalkeepers' caps) are worn they must:
• Be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
• Not be attached to the shirt
• Not be dangerous to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)
• Not have any part(s) extending out from the surface (protruding elements)
No clips holding it in place

Cultural or Faith Based needs:

If players are wearing jewellery for cultural or faith based needs (Kara, Steel Bangle, Rakhi), provided it is deemed safe by the referee, this must be taped or covered appropriately. 
In the instance of a player wearing head wear for cultural or faith based needs (Hijab, Turban, Kippah, Yarmulke), please refer to the Head Wear section above.