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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35198

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 11/4/2023

RE: South African Regional League Adult

Ghetto of Johannesburg, South Africa asks...

What happens if the home team and the away have the same color of socks

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi there ,
it depends somewhat on league or association policy as to whether the home team accommodates or initiates the request to change kits. Also whether a referee or the officials can differentiate the teams via their jersey or shorts.? The keepers need to be identified properly and for offside purposes one best hope the rest of the outfit is significantly different. I have actually played, coached and refereed in matches where this sock issue was protested All the protests were UNSUCCESSFUL as the referee indicated he could easily discern the teams but it does rub people the wrong way.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ghetto
Thanks for the question.
The referee should make every effort to get a change in line with the competition rules. Some rules particularly at the higher levels require the away team to change whereas lower grassroots require the home team to change as that team may have easier access to a change.

I recall refereeing a high level national game and I was at the field some 90 minutes before kick off. My first check was kit snd I found that both teams had the same colour socks despite the team agreeing colours mid week. Anyway the home team had to change which upset then based on their agreement yet I simply told them the rule required that they sourced a change which given that they had over an hour that was done.

I have seen teams using athletic sports tape to cover the lower ankle and shin areas which is somewhat of a help.

If all that fails then the game should be played and the matter reported in the match report.

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