China has banned it’s national team footballers from getting tattoos and has also instructed players to remove or cover the ones they have.
In the latest development, China’s sporting administration body has also prohibited the football selectors from recruiting new players with tattoos at both the national and the youth squad levels.
According to the Chinese administration, this move would help create a ‘good example for society.
As part of the new rules, popular and experienced international footballer Zhang Linpeng has been told to cover up his tattoos while playing for both the national team as well as club Guangzhou FC.
According to a statement issued on Thursday, December 30, China’s General Administration of Sport (GAS) instructed national players to remove or cover their tattoos during both trainings and competitions.
“National teams at all levels will strictly implement the relevant requirements of the management measures… (and) fully demonstrate the positive spirit of Chinese football players and set a good example for society.
The national team and the U23 national team athletes are strictly prohibited from having new tattoos, and those who already have tattoos are advised to remove them themselves.
If there are special circumstances agreed by the team, (players) must cover up the tattoos during training and matches.”
In China tattoos historically have had a negative impression as they were used to brand criminals while some organized crime groups in east Asia use tattoos to identify themselves.
Since 2018, China’s ruling Communist Party has stepped up laws to disapprove of tattoos.