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Question Number: 30186

Law 4 - Players Equipment 3/9/2016

RE: Competitive Under 17

Max Hooker of Marlborough, Ma USA asks...

If a referee allows a player to wear a religious necklace at the start of a game, can he later deem it inappropriate and require the player to remove it?

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Max,

Jewellery of any description is not permitted on the field. Exemptions are not made for religious jewellery.

If the referee mistakenly allows a piece of equipment onto the field, he can certainly correct that decision later in the match.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Max
Not a good idea in my opinion. If the referee has deemed it safe before kick off then what has changed his mind during the game?. Now there is nothing stopping the referee from changing his mind just that it looks like total indecision or outside influence such as opponents pressure that is deciding the call. His credibility is undermined in my opinion as the player will ask how is okay one minute and then not the next? It may even lead to confrontation between the player and the referee on the FOP which could have been avoided. The player may have easily put the item away safe in his bag if it was dealt with before kick off.
Now this is why some referees adopt zero tolerance while others look at the risk on religious items. I have alllowed very light string with a religious medal and also those extremely light religious chains that pose no risk as they break at the slightest contact without the wearer even being aware. If it is jewellery such as a chunky piece of chain then it comes off. Once though I deem an item safe the decision is made. It is a different matter if I miss something then I can ask a player to leave the field of play to correct the equipment.

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