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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33914

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 3/9/2020

RE: 3 Other

Rocky of Mumbai, Maharashtra India asks...

In the recently played Manchester derby (on 8th March 2020), both teams were wearing the same colored shorts (ie white). How was this permitted? Per the Laws of the Game, both teams should have distinguishing colors of the playing kit.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Rocky.
as long as the referee feels he can distinguish the two teams .
I have seen teams with the exact same jerseys socks and shorts play in a colored training pinee over top. We PREFER a better distinction but we work with reality!

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rocky
Shorts are not considered as important for a colour clash as socks. For obvious reasons no colour clash can be allowed with the jerseys.
While it would be better if the shorts could be a different colour as well it is not essential.
I suspect Man City was allowed to wear its traditional *home* kit and its two away kits have black and salmon coloured shorts to match away jerseys which would look *strange* if they were worn with the sky blue shirt. The fact it was a derby match the colours are important to fans.
As it turned out I could perceive no issue or clash problem with the white shorts on the day.
By the way Chelsea and Everton wore blue shorts as well at the weekend.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rocky,
The law simply says that:

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

There is no specific requirement stating that the shorts have to be of different colours and so long as the teams have different shirts and socks from each other, then in my experience that is usually considered sufficient for the referee to distinguish between the two teams.

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