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Question Number: 23007

Appearance 3/26/2010

RE: Competitive College

Daniel of Stouffville, Ontario Canada asks...

I know the rule is that a keeper needs to wear a different colour jersey compared to the field players on both teams.

i also know that in England they used to always have green jerseys for the keepers.

last night, the Philadelphia Union goalie and the Seattle Sounders goalie has the exact same shirt.....same colour as well.

if a goalie towards the end of the game runs to the other goal (for a corner for example), there could be cunfusion with two goalies in the box with the same shirt....both wearing gloves. as there any sub rules that dis-allow goalies from looking alike?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

He Referee Daniel
That indeed should not happen and the Laws of the Game does not allow it. The Law states
' Each goalkeeper must wear colours that distinguish him from the other players, the referee and the assistant referees'

Other players include the opposing goalkeeper.

Now this happened to me in a game a few weeks ago. The visiting goalkeeper was warming up fully kitted out with a track suit top on. I saw that his shorts and socks were okay and I just made the assumption that he had an appropriate GK jersey. Similar check on the other team for kit etc. Anyway midway through the first half it suddenly dawned on me that both keepers were wearing similar jerseys. I decided not to do anything about it and thankfully it was not an issue. The Law states
# If the jerseys of the two goalkeepers are the same colour and neither has another jersey to change into, the referee shall allow play to begin.
Probabaly a more frequent and bigger issue is where GKs wear the same colour as the referee and assistants. That should not happen either but it does.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The league rules may have something to say about the uniforms and colors as well. Generally speaking, referees will not make an issue of this unless there is a real danger of conflict. Unless it is absolutely necessary, making an issue of something like this before a game can get one off on the wrong foot with a team. Sometimes, that can't be helped, and if it can't be helped, so be it.

I have seen games where both keepers are wearing very similar colors, but a quick glance tells you which is which - height, weight, hair or skin color, etc.

Often when referees ask this question, what they want to know is whether or not the referees have to change if there is a conflict in colors, or does the team/keeper? The strict answer under the LOTG is the teams/keeper must change. However, the referee team can decide to wear another non-conflicting color if they so choose. It is a gesture of goodwill and fair play.

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