The Chinese national soccer team has been banned from getting tattoos and has been instructed to remove any existing tattoos, according to a new policy spearheaded by the country’s sports administration. The organization has stated that the recruitment of new players with tattoos is now « strictly prohibited » nationally and in youth teams.
The government said the move would help set a « good example for society », since national stars like Zhang Linpeng have previously been told to cover up their tattoos. The Chinese government has been tightening its anti-tattoo legislation since mid-2018 to prevent tattoos from being shown on screens.
In a statement, the country’s General Administration of Sport (GAS) said that national players with tattoos were » recommended to have them removed ”. In special circumstances, with the consent of the rest of the team, the tattoos must be covered during training and competition, ”it said. Some Chinese national soccer team players are already hiding their body art with long sleeves.
In Chinese culture, tattoos are stigmatized – in the past they were used to brand criminals, and the tattoo still has links to organized criminal groups in East Asia . Tattoos among ethnic groups were often viewed as a mark of the uncivilized. They are frowned upon by China’s ruling Communist Party, but are enjoying increasing popularity with young Chinese, the BBC reports. restricts. In some cases, tattoos and ponytails on men have been pixelated or blurred from screens. Last December, a soccer game at the Women’s University in China was canceled after players were told not to dye their hair.
The game organizers, the National Youth Campus Football League, said in a statement at the time: « Athletes at all Levels are not allowed to have tattoos, dye their hair, have weird hairstyles, or wear any accessories, or they will not be eligible for the competition. » . “
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