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China Bans National Football Players From Getting Tattoos

Footballers who are playing for the China national team have been banned from getting tattoos, and there has been a directive that those who have tattoos should remove them.  

China’s sports administration body said recruiting new players with tattoos for national teams and youth squads is strictly prohibited.  

The administration said the move would help set a good example in society.  

They had warned some national stars, including defender Zhang Linpeng, to remove or cover their tattoos.  

Since 2018, China has been stepping up regulations to stop footballers from showing tattoos on screens.  

Some professional footballers have covered their arms with long sleeves to hide their tattoos.  

“For special circumstances, the tattoos must be covered during training and competition, with the consent of the rest of the team,” the administration said.  

In Chinese culture, stigma is attached to tattoos. Before, they used tattoos to brand criminals, and TJR tattoos still have links to organised crime groups in East Asia.  

Tattoos among ethnic groups are often seen as a mark of people who are not civilised.  

China’s ruling Communist Party does not approve tattoos, but they have become increasingly popular amongst Chinese youths and young adults.  

Earlier this year, China’s broadcasting regulator announced that they had tightened rules on what they described as unhealthy content.  

Television and internet appearances by sports personalities and celebrities have been restricted in cases involving tattoos and men’s ponytails. In some instances, they blurred these scenes from the screens.  

In December 2020, a women’s university football match in China was called off after officials told players that they were not allowed to dye their hair.

The match organisers, the National Youth Campus Football League, had said in a statement at that time that:  

“At all stages, athletes must not get tattoos, dye their hair, wear weird hairstyles, or wear any accessories, otherwise they will be ineligible for the competition.” They said

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