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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33420

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 6/6/2019

RE: Competition Under 17

STEVE LARSEN of Sebastopol, CA United States asks...

Where in the laws does it prohibit one sock on one foot from being a different color than on the other foot? If the entire team is all the same would this be OK?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Steve
If the entire team is all the same I see no reason it would not be OK? As long as all other points are ok in the opinion of the referee. I have seen players in certain uniforms look a lot alike in side view which could make it harder for offside! For example red sock black shorts on a blue jersey with black side panels versus a team of white socks black shorts with black jerseys The red team switches to one red sock one white sock claiming to be in sync?

socks – tape or any material applied or worn externally must be the same color as that part of the sock it is applied to or cover

The two teams must wear colors that distinguish them from each other and the match officials

It states Undershirts must be:

a single color which is the same color as the main color of the shirt sleeve
or a pattern/colors which exactly replicate(s) the shirt sleeve

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

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
Not covered in the laws just that the two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the match officials. So no issue as long as the colour of either sock does not clash with the opponents sock colour and it does not convene the competition rules. In addition two colours of tape needs to be used if shinpads are being taped up.
I suppose at the lower levels of the game it might happen whereas at higher levels less likely to. Personally I do not lose a lot of sweat over kit at rec and grassroots level.
As IFAB states and I quote ** The Laws cannot deal with every possible situation, so where there is no direct provision in the Laws, The IFAB expects the referee to make a decision within the 'spirit' of the game – this often involves asking the question, ' what would football want/expect?'
I believe it would be to allow it and play the game.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Steve,
There's nothing in the laws about this - team colours are part of the competition rules (and are typically approved by the competition authority before the season commences). However, the LOTG state that both teams must wear distinguishing kits - and sock the same colour make it very difficult for the referee to tell who the ball came off last, or whether a player has tripped over an opponent's legs or a teammate's, so it is important that socks are different from the opponent.
So, Team A with Blue and Yellow socks and Team B with Red socks? No problem, as long as it's sanctioned by the competition. Team A with Blue and Yellow socks and Team B with Blue socks? That wouldn't be allowed.

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