China has banned soccer players from getting tattoos and ordered those with tattoos to remove or cover them to set a “good example for society,” according to an order issued by the General Administration of Sports of China (GAS).
The directive, entitled “Suggestions to strengthen the management of soccer players”, establishes the disciplinary requirements for the players of the national team.
“Athletes of the national team and the U23 team are strictly prohibited from getting new tattoos,” said the directive, which was issued on Tuesday.
“Those who have tattoos are advised to remove them themselves. In cases of special circumstances, tattoos must be covered during training and competition after consent of the team.”
National teams at the U-20 levels are prohibited from recruiting new athletes with tattoos, “according to the directive.
The measures “fully demonstrate the positive spirit of Chinese footballers and set a good example for society,” the GAS statement said.
The order added that national teams must organize activities that “strengthen the patriotic education” of athletes to “enhance the sense of mission, responsibility and honor, and create a national team capable of conquering and fighting well and with excellent style of play”.
This is not the first time that China has focused on tattoos.
In 2018, China’s media regulator issued an edict saying that Chinese television “should not feature actors with tattoos” during a crackdown on “hip hop culture, subculture and immoral culture.”
Images with tattoos were required to be blurred before they could be shown on television.
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