Law 4 - Players' Equipment

    1. The basic compulsory equipment of a player shall consist of a jersey or shirt, shorts, stockings, shinguards and footwear.

    2. A player shall not wear anything which is dangerous to another player.

  1. Shinguards, which must be covered entirely by the stockings, shall be made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, polyurethane or similar substance) and shall afford a reasonable degree of protection.

  2. The goalkeeper shall wear colors which distinguish him from the other players and from the referee.


For any infringement of this Law, the player at fault shall be instructed to leave the field of play by the referee, to adjust his equipment of obtain any missing equipment, when the ball next ceases to be in play; unless by then the player has already corrected his equipment. Play shall not be stopped immediately for an infringement of this Law. A player who is instructed to leave the field to adjust his equipment or obtain missing equipment shall not return without first reporting to the referee, who shall satisfy himself that the player's equipment is in order. The player shall only re-enter the game at a moment when the ball has ceased to be in play.

Decisions of the International F.A. Board

  1. In international matches, international competitions, international club competitions and friendly matches between clubs of different National Associations, the referee, prior to the start of the game, shall inspect the players' equipment and prevent any player whose equipment does not conform to the requirements from playing until such time as it does comply. The rules of any competition may include a similar provision.

  2. If the referee finds that a player is wearing articles not permitted by the Laws and which may constitute a danger to other players, he shall order him to take them off. If he fails to carry out the referee's instruction, the player shall not take part in the match.

  3. A player who has been prevented from taking part in the game or a player who has been sent off the field for infringing Law 4 must report to the referee during a stoppage of the game and may not enter or re-enter the field of play unless and until the referee has satisfied himself that the player is no longer infringing Law 4.

  4. A player who has been prevented from taking part in a game or who has been sent off because of an infringement of Law 4, and who enters or re-enters the field of play to join or re-join his team, in breach of the conditions of Law 12,(j), shall be cautioned.

    If the referee stops the game to administer the caution, the game shall be restarted by an IFK, taken by a player of the opposing side, from the place where the ball was when the referee stopped the game, subject to the overriding conditions imposed in Law 13.

1992 Memorandum - Advice to Referees:

The referee is now empowered not to stop play immediately for an infringement of this law, thus avoiding immediate confrontation with the player. However, if the player has not corrected the problem with his equipment by the next time the ball goes out of play, he will be instructed to leave the field and correct it. The player will not be allowed back on the field of play until the next stoppage, and not until after having satisfied the referee that everything is in order.

[Rules.] [Law 3: The Number of Players.] [Law 5: The Referees.]