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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 35355

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 2/18/2024

RE: coach Adult

Robert Healey of Bournemouth, dorset England asks...

can a goalkeeper play in all black as it would clash with referee in local soccerleagues in england

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Robert
The FA states that the match official’s primary kit colour should be BLACK and should be worn whenever possible, however officials are now permitted to wear an alternative coloured shirt should they wish to, provided that it does not clash with the jersey of any other player (this includes the goal-keeper).
I note that the Dorset County handbook states that no club shall wear colours that clash with the referee, who shall wear black.

So for me the referee is expected to wear black in Dorset FA games and the goalkeeper should change.

In the modern era the FA has made provision for an alternative to black for referees.
As noted above The FA states that ** match officials will now be able to wear any alternative shirt colour should they wish as long as it complies with the Laws of the Game as detailed below:
# 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**

In FA games teams in Dorset and elsewhere should know that a black jersey will pose a problem of a colour clash with the referee and that should be avoided. Teams should avoid that particular problem.
Some referees on a particular day may decide to wear an alternative coloured approved FA shirts if they have such available to avoid a confrontation and where the goalkeeper does not have an alternative shirt. Older referees may not want to and therefore a goalkeeper cannot wear black.
In our Leagues a referee may use any colour shirt and many chose the shirt on the day taking account of team colours etc. We have teams that use black kit which is not allowed in FA grassroots games and the referee will use whatever alternative shirt they have available. Sometimes there is a colour clash between the goalkeepers in these situations and it is accepted to play the game. The LotG states **If the two goalkeepers’ shirts are the same colour and neither has another shirt, the referee allows the match to be played**

So there you have it. Colour clashes should be avoided where possible and that in FA games the referee is entitled / required to wear black in which case the goalkeeper changes.

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