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Question Number: 30876

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 10/9/2016

RE: competive Professional

lachman s bisht of mumbai, maharastra india asks...

In match, referee jersey and one of the goal keeper jersey colour is same then can start the match.?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Yes the game should start. The referee should try to get it changed and if that is not possible then allow the game to start.
At the higher levels of the game the situation does happen as there can be a referee and goalkeeper colour clash and it is not considered an issue due to the officials and goalkeepers rarely coming close to each other during play with three officials. In some games with additional assistant referees on the goal line it can be a problem. It should not happen yet it does from time to time due to sponsor requirements, names/ numbers, competition requirements, no other available options etc. See this photo as an example

If a defender was to pass the ball to the referee or an AAR thinking it was his goalkeeper then there would be unhappiness with that. Also perhaps in a tight game a goalkeeper in the dying moments might come forward into the opponents penalty area it could cause confusion. If the two goalkeepers plus the referee are all wearing the same colour then clearly that is a recipe for a potential problem.

Now this is where Law 18 (Common Sense) has to apply where the referee raises it as it might be a problem for the game. If the referee has only one jersey available (whatever colour) and the goalkeeper has a change then it makes sense for the goalkeeper to change without debate as the law mandates that. If the referee can change then that is what should happen. If there is no change possible then the game is played and hopefully the clash of colour does not affect the game in any way.
BTW the law requires that the goalkeeper must wear colours that are distinguishable from the other players and the match officials which places the requirement on the goalkeeper to change not the referee.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi there ,
The keeper is mandated under the LOTG to change his jersey if there is conflict but if as a referee I had the option and the keeper did not I could easily consent to switch. In conclusion best try to avoid it but I doubt it would or should stop the match from going forward.

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