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Question Number: 29263

Law 4 - Players Equipment 3/23/2015

RE: Any Level Under 15

Danny Bacic of Plano, TX United States asks...

What should the decision be regarding players who want to play with cochlear implants? I would expect that the exterior part of the implants could be considered a danger, but it would also seem unfair to force the player to play without them.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Danny
All soccer clubs, coaches, referees and officials should take responsibility for supporting deaf players and addressing their needs.
Involving deaf young people in soccer is great for their confidence, social skills and team work, and they should have the same opportunities to access the game as other young people.
In the UK official FA guidelines state that players are permitted to wear hearing technology during football matches. The decision on whether to wear a hearing aid during a match is up to the player and their parents if underage not the referee.
This follows a landmark case a number of years ago where a game was abandoned because a referee would not allow a player to play with a hearing aid. His team then refused to continue and the incident attracted significant media attention.
Personally I have allowed players with hearing aids to play and I would have no problem with a player playing with a cochlear implant. as the risks are extremely low. Probably a much greater risk if the player cannot hear properly.
BTW in Deaf Soccer hearing aids are not allowed not because of the danger just that they would create an advantage to the wearer.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

H Danny,
I see absolutely no reason the devise can not be worn? Safety! Hearing aids just like glasses better to hear and see then not ! I think if the parents and the kid are ok with the risk I would be too!

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