Sport

China BANS footballers from having tattoos with calls for existing ink to be REMOVED

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China tell their footballers they must have their tattoos REMOVED ‘to set a good example for society’, as young players are banned from playing for the national team if they are inked

  • Chinese footballers have been urged to have any pre-existing tattoos removed
  • In 2018 players were forced to begin covering their ink up to play in matches
  • The directive banning tattoos for players is to ‘set a good example for society’ 


Chinese footballers will need to undergo the painful process of having tattoos removed or risk being snubbed by the national team following a new order banning the body work.

The General Administration of Sport (GAS) has taken a step further than they did in 2018 when players were forced to cover up tattoos to continue playing.

In their latest move GAS have outlawed tattoos altogether and want any players with pre-existing tattoos to get them removed in order to ‘set a good example for society’.

China's General Administration of Sport has put a ban on footballers getting new tattoos

China’s General Administration of Sport has put a ban on footballers getting new tattoos

The GAS have also called on existing inks to be removed as part of a new clean-up directive

The GAS have also called on existing inks to be removed as part of a new clean-up directive

‘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,’ the GAS statement said.

‘If there are special circumstances agreed by the team, (players) must cover up the tattoos during training and matches.’

Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC is known throughout Chinese football for his extensive ink.

But new rules look set to prove problematic for younger players with any fresh tattoos likely to result in expulsion from the national team.  

Tattoos have become more mainstream in China but the new rules present problems to many, such as Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC (pictured)

Tattoos have become more mainstream in China but the new rules present problems to many, such as Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou FC (pictured) 

Players in the national team have previously been seen playing with tape covering any visible tattoo areas.  

The GAS went on to add that China’s national teams, throughout age groups, should organise ‘ideological and political education activities’ that would ‘strengthen the patriotic education’ of its players

The statement is headed ‘Suggestions for strengthening the management of football players’.

It is anticipated that the Chinese FA will be charged with setting out disciplinary requirements for future national team call-ups.

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