FIFA bans players from shirt messages, Ghana players won't display World Cup messages
Players in this summer’s World Cup in Brazil will be banned from displaying any messages on undershirts which means Ghana players cannot display their personal messages.
Black Stars players have in the past displayed personal and religious messages on their undershirts like Agyemang Badu’s ‘God is love’ and Mubarak Wakaso’s ‘Allah is Great’.
New rules come into force from 1 June saying players should not display any personal slogans at all on shirts they are wearing under their kit.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the International FA Board, the game’s law-making body, in Zurich.
Overt slogans have long been banned by Fifa, but players often lift up their shirts after scoring to show other messages.
“From now on there can be no slogan or image whatsoever on undergarments even good-natured ones,” the Fifa secretary general Jérôme Valcke told a news conference after an Ifab meeting.
“This will apply from 1 June and be in force for the World Cup.”
Valcke said in Zurich: “It is definitely decided that players must not have any slogan or statement, and we are making the decision that it will apply to the World Cup and it will be enforced from 1 June and not 1 July.”
The Football Association had proposed the ban to make sure there was a consistent message and the general secretary Alex Horne said: “The idea is to get some consistency.
“The simplest rule for the image of the game is to start from the basis that slogans will not be allowed.”
Personal messages on shirts have been used by players to pay tribute to dead colleagues, as well as light-hearted slogans such as Mario Balotelli’s “why always me” T-shirt.
Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said some Ifab members did consider whether an outright ban would be “a little bit churlish”.
He added: “Everyone agreed about political or religious statements but on personal statements some of us did consider how far are we going. We decided however it was easier for us to say it has no place in the game.”
Referees will not, however, book players who display messages – disciplinary action will be down to competition organisers after the match.