Chinese authorities ban national team footballers from showing tattoos
The idea is that they 'set a good example for society'
Chinese authorities have issued new guidance instructing national team players to either remove their tattoos or cover them up. In the same document, it states that for national teams of u20 level or younger, recruiting inked players is 'strictly prohibited.'
This new instruction is part of a larger document released by the The General Administration of Sport of China (GAS) entitled 'Suggestions for strengthening the management of football players.'
"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," it said.
"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."
This could prove an issue for the Chinese national team's number 5, Zhang Linpeng, who sports sleeve tattoos on both arms and is also visibly inked on his left thigh.
Tattoos are just the tip of the iceberg in this statement from GAS, who have also imposed that national teams should organise "ideological and political education activities" that would "strengthen the patriotic education" of players.
The explanation for this nakedly authoritarian move is that it would "enhance the sense of mission, responsibility and honour, and create a national team capable of conquering and fighting well and with excellent style of play."
Famously, there have never been any world class players with tattoos. None. Ever.