Corner Flags Are for Soccer, Not for Political Symbols

It is becoming more and more common in soccer to use the corner flags on the field to promote causes, even political causes.

Law 01, Section 8 governs “flagposts” for the field. The Laws of the Game fail to define the appearance of the flags.

There is a lacuna in the Laws of the Game. Guidance for the appearance of the corner flag and other field equipment is insufficient. Law 01, Section 13 does not, but should, prohibit “political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”

During a June 6, 2017, match between Germany and Denmark in Denmark, the corner flags featured the LGBT rainbow symbol.

According to Law 01. 13, Logos and Emblems: “The reproduction, whether real or virtual, of representative logos or emblems of FIFA, confederations, national football associations, competitions, clubs or other bodies is forbidden on the field of play, the goal nets and the areas they enclose, the goals, and the flagposts during playing time. They are permitted on the flags on the flagposts.” What does IFAB mean by“other bodies”? Does IFAB mean other soccer organizations? IFAB should clarify what “other bodies” means.

LGBT rainbow corner flag June 7, 2019 at Toronto FC match.

Recommendations to IFAB for the Laws of the Game:

IFAB should clarify in the Laws of the Game that the Law 04, Section 5, ban on “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” includes equipment on the field governed by Law 01.