Elite soccer players get endorsements from brands that want to use their attractive looks and fame to market their products. It is not surprising that some soccer players use piercings including ear and belly button piercings to enhance their appearance and make themselves more attractive.
For example, you must have seen Cristiano Ronaldo wearing earrings whenever he is on a vacation with his family. However, he doesn’t bring it into the stadium.
Piercings are not allowed in soccer and other contact sports like basketball and football. While the attitude towards body art and jewelry has changed in the last couple of years, wearing jewelry in soccer games is still prohibited.
According to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), “all items of jewelry (necklace, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands. Rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewelry is not acceptable”.
Inasmuch as the law didn’t categorically mention belly button piercing, it is still part of the items that soccer players are not allowed to bring into the stadium.
Soccer balls have changed over the years. Perhaps, this is the reason why some soccer fans and those with interest in playing the sport are asking if the law on belly button piercing has changed too. Keep reading to see all the answers to your question.
In Law 4 of “FIFA Laws of the Game” under the title “Safety”, the soccer governing body clearly says that “A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry)”. While many believe that taping the jewelry will make it safe, FIFA clearly advises against that.
Sometimes, what is safe to wear is left to the discretion of the officiating referee. In other words, the referee can give a nod for a player to wear certain protective equipment if they don’t pose any threat to the player or other players in the field.
According to the above rule of FIFA, belly button piercing cannot appear in professional soccer matches.
In addition to belly button piercing, other things that a soccer player cannot wear in the stadium include earrings, necklaces, and rings. However, there are other items that a player can wear which are not restricted or the referee can consider non-injurious to other players.
According to FIFA law, false nails, glasses, contact lens, hats, headbands, gloves, braces, and tights or leggings are not restricted. But, they need to conform to certain rules to be allowed on the pitch.
Now that you know what a soccer player is allowed to wear and what they are not allowed to wear, the next big question would be, “Why are soccer players not allowed to wear belly button piercing?” or “How do belly button piercings pose a threat to a soccer player?”
Well, belly button piercing can be caught in the player’s jersey and this can cause a painful pinch. This is highly uncomfortable and may make the soccer player momentarily lose focus. Such entanglement can also lead to injuries.
Also, it is possible for the piercing channel to rip slightly, providing infectious germs a point of entry into the body. In soccer, players come in contact with each other every now and then and such collisions can cause the ripping of belly button piercings.
Also, belly button piercings usually require a longer healing time. This means that having one can keep a player on the sideline and prevent them from active training and competition for several weeks.
During the healing phase of belly button piercing, you may have to make adjustments to your lifestyle. Some of the things that you will be required to do include;
- Avoid exposing the area to direct sunlight to prevent sunburns
- Wear loose-fitting clothes so that the clothes will not irritate the area or be a vehicle for bacterial infection
- Shun lakes, pools, and hot tubs because you can easily come in contact with harmful bacteria when you are in the water
If you must get a belly button piercing as a soccer player, it is paramount that you take steps to ensure that the entire procedure is done as safely as possible. To do that and prevent any problems that can eventually lead to the abrupt end of your career, do the following;
- Do thorough research on the piercer to know how long they have been in the practice. Look beyond the license and ask about the risks of the procedure. A good piercer should be willing to answer all your questions without feeling irritated.
- Critically study the sanitary condition of the salon you intend to get your piercing. Make sure the salon is licensed by the Association of Professional Piercers and follow best sanitary practices like keeping the piercing equipment in sealed pouches to show their sterility. If the piercer is using a disposable, one-use needle, make sure you see them open a new pack.
- Know your allergies and choose jewelry that will not cause allergies. Medical-grade stainless steel, niobium, titanium, and 14 karat gold or higher are the least likely to cause allergic reactions. Make sure the jewelry for your piercings has a shiny finish and is free of rough edges or nicks that can easily bite into your jersey.
Obviously, the rules of soccer will not allow you to wear belly button piercings into a major tournament. However, if you are playing other sports where the use of belly button piercing is allowed, you need to take steps to protect them.
Below are some of the ways you can protect your belly button piercing during sports.
- Remove the piercing/jewelry
If you play sports like soccer and basketball where belly button piercing is not allowed, one of the things you can do is to take out the ring or piercer when you want to play the sport and replace it when you are done.
While this can prevent you from being disqualified or getting into trouble with match officials, you can only remove and replace belly button rings if your piercing has healed completely.
- Taping the area
Most athletes that have belly-button piercings hide them with tapes when they want to play active sport. To make it less obvious that they are trying to hide something, the athletes often use a flesh-colored band-aid to hide the belly button piercing.
In addition to hiding the piercing, taping also prevents any rough surface of the piercing jewelry from getting caught on sports jerseys—which are usually close-fitting.
The disadvantage of taping is that it can lead to discomfort which can stop the athlete from reaching their full potential.
Even if you have found a way to hide your belly button piercing from match officials it is important to highlight what you can or cannot do when wearing belly button piercing.
- Always wash your hand before touching your piercing
- Clean your piercing frequently
- Keep your surroundings clean
- Avoid scratching a new piercing even when it itches
- Resist the urge to remove the jewelry—except your piercing has completely healed
- Stay clear of public pools and large water bodies
- Never wear tight clothes
While jewelry can enhance a soccer player’s appearance and increase their brand endorsements, soccer players should always set their priorities. Getting a piercing during the peak of the season can keep you out of active play for up to six months as you wait for the piercing to heal.
Staying away from active competition for too long impacts negatively on a soccer player’s career. It makes them less attractive and lowers their transfer market value. So, why go through all the stress of getting a belly button piercing when you cannot bring them to the pitch?
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!