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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33519

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 7/14/2019

RE: Professional

Hussain Jan Gramkani of Muscat, Oman asks...

Can a goalkeeper wear same color socks that his teammates wearing? I read 'fifa equipment regulations book' it was mentioned that goalkeeper's playing equipment must be distinguished. Is there any paragraph specific for socks

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Hussain
The reason for the difference in sock colour is to help distinguish who touched the ball last or who committed an offence.
As a result the goalkeeper can have the same coloured socks as team mates yet should be different from opponents.
Many times GK have their own distinctive coloured kit from team mates yet that is not essential as long as it is different from the opponents kit and the rest of his team.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Hussain,
No, there is nothing specific related to the goalkeeper's socks. The law simply says that, ''Each goalkeeper must wear colours that are distinguishable from the other players and the match officials.''

As ref McHugh says, the reason for needing different sock colours is that when the referee is looking through a forest of legs and sees the ball deflect off one of them and out of play, they need to know which team touched the ball last. Based on this, it doesn't matter if the keeper has the same colour socks as their teammates, the correct decision can still be given. Same goes for the shorts. In fact I remember a time when it was quite normal for goalkeepers to wear the same colour shorts and socks as their teammates and I believe some competitions may even had that as a requirement - so goalies may not have even permitted to wear different coloured shorts and socks to the rest of their team. Or it may have been just tradition - anyway it was very common.

It's only really the shirt that needs to be a different colour, so that if the ball comes off an arm and the referee can't clearly see the body the arm is attached to, they can still tell if the player who touched it was the goalkeeper and not an outfield player.

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