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Discipline teams that place political symbols, 



2019 Report:

Let All Play

Yes to Soccer,  No to Politics


Executive Summary:


The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rainbow does not belong on the kit or the field in soccer.


In international soccer matches, the United States and the Republic of Ireland have required players to wear an LGBT rainbow on their jerseys. England required players to wear LGBT rainbow laces on their cleats. Some teams have required captains to wear an LGBT rainbow captain’s armband. Some have placed the LGBT rainbow on corner flags.


The LGBT rainbow is a political symbol. The Laws of the Game from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) state, “Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” (Law 04.5). FIFA’s Equipment Regulations add that this includes a ban on any “political or comparable symbol” (Article 8.3). FIFA needs to enforce its own rules.


Not everyone agrees with the causes represented by the LGBT rainbow. Players who have declined to wear the LGBT rainbow in international and league play have been harassed and now risk being disadvantaged in their careers.

FIFA and IFAB have a responsibility to assure players are judged by their soccer skills, not by their political or religious views. No one should be required to wear a political symbol with which they disagree.


Those who disagree with the politics represented by the LGBT rainbow include some religious believers as well as those who oppose the threat that transgenderism poses to soccer for girls and women. These individuals and others should not be excluded from soccer just because they hold opinions that are at odds with LGBT advocates and vice versa. 


FIFA and IFAB need to guarantee all are welcome.




Discipline teams that place political symbols, to include the LGBT rainbow, on any part of the kit, protective equipment, or captain’s armband.​​




fairness and inclusion.

(See “Five Recommendations to Assure All Are Welcome” in the full report)​



Revise the Laws of the Game to exclude political symbols on corner flags, all other field and technical area equipment, and on the field and its immediate surroundings.

(See discussion of Law 01.8 and 01.13 in the full report.)






Cleats, uniforms,

and corner flags

are for soccer, not for politics.

Lace up to




Not for politics.

“Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”



Laws of the Game

Law 04, Section 5

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