From tapes around their wrists and ankles to bandanas, soccer players wear a lot of things to the field. However, have you noticed that they never wear earrings? The big question is WHY?
Inasmuch as soccer players are notorious for creating new trends, the rules of the game often restrict what they can and what they cannot do. When it comes to what they cannot wear to the field, the reason is usually tied to the safety of both the player and other players on the field.
Interestingly, the wearing of earrings is banned in all forms of soccer variations, from futsal to beach soccer to association football.
The decision of what a player can wear to the pitch often falls back on the match officials. For this reason, some may allow soccer players to wear earrings into the field as long as it is tapped.
Other referees will not allow soccer players to bring earrings to the field whether taped or not. Does the law of the game really ban soccer players from wearing earrings or are there rules regarding when and how they wear them?
In this post, we are going to tell you all the reasons why you can’t wear earrings in soccer or whether the rule is outdated.
- Why can’t you wear earrings in soccer?
- Can soccer players wear earrings in training?
- How can you safely wear earrings in soccer training?
Why can’t you wear earrings in soccer?
Soccer players wear earrings. In fact, we have seen Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, and Neymar wearing a diamond or gold-plated studs on one or both ears. Roberto Firmino wore them to his wedding too.
However, according to Law 4 of IFAB Laws of the Game, a soccer player cannot wear any equipment or anything that is considered dangerous. The items fingered in this category include all pieces of jewelry like earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, rubber bands, and so on.
The Law of the Game also mentions clearly that using tape to cover jewelry is not permitted—although a lot of players get away with this. To ensure compliance, soccer players are often inspected by the match officials before the commencement of any game.
If you have paid close attention too to any professional soccer game, you would have observed that substitutes are also properly checked before for any unauthorized equipment prior to displaying the electronic board for them to come onto the field.
Since it would be difficult for the Law of the Game to draft a rule specifically for each piece of wearable equipment, the referees are requested to use their intuition and knowledge in deciding what a player can wear and what may be potentially dangerous.
Whenever a referee discovers that a soccer player is wearing dangerous equipment, the referee has the power to order the player to remove the equipment or ask him or her to leave the field at the next stoppage if the player fails to comply.
Can soccer players wear earrings in training?
While the Law of the Game prohibits soccer players from wearing earrings to official games, the law is relaxed in training. It is not surprising that soccer players often show up at training wearing earrings.
Arsenal stars Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil have both been spotted on the training ground with their exotic earrings. A lot of other soccer players have quickly followed the trend.
In street soccer, dressing is usually not as strict as association football and various other soccer variations. So, don’t be surprised when you spot soccer players wearing earrings during an organized street soccer game with huge spectators.
Although the Law of the Game doesn’t cover training, it is still important for soccer players to think about their safety first before jumping on any trend.
While the main reason for prohibiting the use of earrings in official soccer games is due to safety concerns, are there other factors that favor the rule? Here are some of the reasons why a soccer player can’t wear earrings in soccer.
Reason 1: Earrings can harm the player or other players during a struggle for the ball
Soccer as we all know is a contact sport. During the struggle for the right to play the ball, soccer players often shove or raise their hands.
In the process, the earring may bruise the opposing player. Also, during such struggles, the opposing player may accidentally tug on the earrings causing them to tear out of the ear lobe and bloody gash in the process.
Even when the earrings are properly taped, pulling on them can still lead to a deep cut. Inasmuch as earring is one of the most common forms of piercing among soccer players, they will have to remove them (earrings, nose rings, hand rings, or belly button piercings) and keep them on the sideline before entering the field.
Reason 2: The ball may hit the earring
A soccer player like Arjen Robben was known to project the ball at over 190 km/hr. A soccer ball traveling at that speed can shatter a windshield, window, or glass.
Imagine what will happen if a ball traveling at such a speed should strike the earring on your ears. One of two things may happen in the process.
It is either the sharp end of the earring that will stick to the back of your ears or the ball will forcefully dislodge the earrings from your ears with a potential tear in the process.
Even when none of those happens, the experience will definitely be more painful compared to a similar experience without the earrings.
Reason 3: Lightning may hit you in outdoor soccer
Soccer is one of the sports that can be played in almost all weather—except when it gets extreme. That means soccer can be played while it is raining—and we have seen that far too often.
When there is lightning, the soccer field or any other open field is the worst place to be. The match officials will usually pause the game when there is a risk of lightning but it may be too late for you if you are putting on a metallic earring.
A Russian teenager was struck by lightning in 2020 during a training session. Although he survived the hit, he sustained a burn around his neck where he had a necklace on.
While metals do not attract lightning, they are good conductors of electricity and can exacerbate your problems when you accidentally get hit.
Reason 4: Can keep you on the sidelines for sometime
Every piercing takes a healing process and earrings are not an exception. When you get a new ear piercing, you have to take care of it properly to allow it to heal properly.
Engaging in strenuous soccer activities at this time may cause the ear piercing to get injured or infected—especially when you use them for training.
So, if you must have piercings, it is important to time them during the off-season. Know how long your piercing will take to heal (usually between 6 and 12 weeks) and plan accordingly so that it doesn’t keep you on the sidelines.
How can you safely wear earrings in soccer training?
Even though wearing earrings is not banned in soccer training, you have to take steps to ensure that you are wearing them properly to avoid getting injured. Below are some of the tips to consider when using earrings for training.
1. Always tape the earring
If you must wear earrings during a training session, it is important to keep them taped at all times. Taping will not totally eliminate the risk of getting injured but it will definitely reduce it.
Also, make sure that you keep extra tape handy because sweat can weaken the adhesive on the tape and make them fall off.
2. Wear really light and thin earrings
The heavier the earrings, the more they will tug on your earlobes and increase the likelihood of injuries. Also, the bigger the earrings the larger the surface area for contact.
Wearing light and small earrings will reduce the chances of getting injured when using earrings in soccer training.
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3. Be careful with making contacts
When wearing earrings during training, it is important to limit how many contacts you make with the ball and other team members.
Avoid heading the ball at all costs because you may collide ear-to-head with another player or have the ball strike your ears leading to injury.
4. Clean the earrings after training
Sweat and exchange of body fluid during a soccer session increase your chances of getting an infection. Earrings can provide a good surface for germs and dirt to attach and multiply.
Cleaning your earrings after every training session with an alcohol solution or alcohol pad will ensure you don’t take dirt and germs home or infect yourself or other family members with potentially harmful germs.
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Depending on how much you relate with your teammates, someone may walk up to you and ask to wear your earrings to see how well it fits. Sharing piercings can be a recipe for disaster.
It can serve as a vehicle for the spread of infections. If the other person has an infection and injury on their ear, that can easily be transferred to you through the earrings.
FIFA and other regulatory bodies only have control over what happens on official match day—which is where all the rules apply. Whatever happens outside official games is not under their watch and they cannot be held accountable.
In most cases, the referee will be held responsible if teenagers get injured because a player was allowed to play with earrings or any other prohibited jewelry.
If you are thinking of soccer as a long-term career option, then you must try by every means possible to avoid injuries as well as steer clear of any behavior that can cause you injuries—whether they are spelled out by the Laws of the Game or not.
Remember, soccer players often use their looks to attract sponsorship deals. Having a deformed earlobe can minimize your chance of attracting good sponsorship deals.
So, yes, you can’t wear earrings to official soccer games but no one will stop you from wearing earrings to training or any other red-carpet event.
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!