Law 4 - The Players Equipment
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).
The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:
a jersey or shirt with sleeves – if undergarments are worn, the color of the sleeve must be the same main color as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt
shorts – if undershorts or tights are worn, they must be of the same main color as the shorts
are covered entirely by the socks
are made of rubber, plastic or a similar suitable material
provide a reasonable degree of protection
The two teams must wear colors that distinguish them from each other and also the referee and the assistant referees
Each goalkeeper must wear colors that distinguish him from the other players, the referee and the assistant referees
Infringements and sanctions
In the event of any infringement of this Law:
play need not be stopped
the player at fault is instructed by the referee to leave the field of play to correct his equipment
the player leaves the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play, unless he has already corrected his equipment
any player required to leave the field of play to correct his equipment must not re-enter without the referee’s permission
the referee checks that the player’s equipment is correct before allowing him to re-enter the field of play
the player is only allowed to re-enter the field of play when the ball is out of play
A player who has been required to leave the field of play because of an infringement of this Law and who re-enters the field of play without the referee’s permission must be cautioned.
Restart of play
If play is stopped by the referee to administer a caution:
the match is restarted by an indirect free kick taken by a player of the opposing team from the place where the ball was located when the referee stopped the match (see Law 13 – Position of free kick)
Decisions of the IFAB
Players must not reveal undergarments showing slogans or advertising. The basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.
A player removing his jersey or shirt to reveal slogans or advertising will be sanctioned by the competition organizer. The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment has political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organizer or by FIFA.
Interpretations of Law 1
If the jerseys of the two goalkeepers are the same color and neither has another jersey to change into, the referee allows play to begin
If a player loses his footwear accidentally and immediately plays the ball and/or scores a goal, there is no infringement and the goal is awarded because he lost his footwear by accident.
Goalkeepers may wear tracksuit bottoms as part of their basic equipment.
A player may use equipment other than the basic equipment provided that its sole purpose is to protect him physically and it poses no danger to him or any other player.
All items of clothing or equipment other than the basic equipment must be inspected by the referee and determined not to be dangerous.
Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks and knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight padded material are not considered dangerous and are therefore permitted.
In view of the new technology that has made sports spectacles much safer, both for the wearer and for other players, referees should show tolerance when authorizing their use, particularly for younger players.
If an item of clothing or equipment that has been inspected at the start of a match and determined not to be dangerous becomes dangerous or is used in a dangerous manner during the match, its use must no longer be allowed.
The use of radio communication systems between players and/or technical staff is not permitted.
All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewelry is not acceptable.
Referees are also prohibited from wearing jewelry (except for a watch or similar device for timing the match).
The players are to be inspected before the match begins and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is discovered to be wearing unauthorized clothing or jewelry during play, the referee must:
inform the player that the item in question must be removed
order the player to leave the field of play at the next stoppage if he is unable or unwilling to comply
caution the player if he willfully refuses to comply or, having been told to remove the item, is discovered to be wearing the item again
If play is stopped to caution the player, an indirect free kick must be awarded to the opposing team from the position of the ball when play was stopped (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).