August 28, 2013

May Referees wear Jewellery?

During yesterday's Champions League play-off tie between PAOK Saloniki and FC Schalke 04, Dutch referee Björn Kuipers was caught by the TV camera while calming down some players making a gesture with his left hand that was adorned with a wedding ring. May a referee wear jewellery on the pitch?

The answer is a clear "No!". The Laws of the Game define in the guidelines for Law 4:

"All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed.
Referees are also prohibited from wearing jewellery (except for a watch or similar device for timing the match)."

Referee Kuipers should have removed his ring prior to the match - as he did not, he in a way infringed his duties as a match official. The idea behind the prohibition of jewellery is the try to ban this potential danger for players and referees colliding with each other. 
Contrary to former times, players and referees moreover must not deploy tape to cover their jewellery during the match. Law 4 also includes the annotation "using tape to cover jewellery is not acceptable."

You can find the match incident captured by the screenshot in this video (if not automatically redirected, fast-forward to 61:29 please).


  1. In addition to the explanation, a referee wearing a jewelry could have a hard time to explain the players during the kit-check how come he wears it while they are not allowed to do the same.

  2. Anonymous30/8/13 22:42

    Eriksson is wearing a wedding ring during the Supercup. Maybe the top refs are allowed:)

    1. Eriksson is also wearing a ring on the picture in the post about's interview with Eriksson... :)

  3. Anonymous1/9/13 21:20

    Come on - do you all really think that this is something important? I certainly do not...

  4. Yep I do. Same rules for all, players and referees.


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