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BFA: Referees to take tough stance on body piercings

Local referees will take precautions again this season with players wearing body piercings, as instructed by FIFA laws of the game, a Bermuda Football Association official confirmed yesterday.

The FIFA laws state: “A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).”

BFA vice president Cal Blankendal reiterated FIFA's stance following an incident last weekend between Somerset Trojans and Devonshire Cougars in the Dudley Eve when the start of the match was delayed after Somerset goalkeeper Shaquille Bean was instructed to remove body piercing on his eyebrow.

It was deemed by referee Kuhn Evans to be dangerous to the player. “This is on page 21 of the (FIFA) electronic handbook,” Blankendal stressed.

“The rule has been in place for years to prevent any unnecessary danger to both the player and his/her opponent. All senior coaches and players know this and have to accept the responsibility, to ensure that they are in compliance with the rules/regulations at all times.

“The referee on duty should not have to delay the start of a match due to any form of jewellery being worn as this is one of the basic safety regulations not only in football but many other contact sports.”

There was a similar incident in the FA Cup last season when two Robin Hood players, Dominique Williams and Takeyhi Walker, were told they would not be allowed to play in the match against North Village at Bernard Park if they did not remove facial body piercings which the match officials deemed to be dangerous.

Williams removed his piercing but Walker was replaced in the starting line-up by coach Kyle Lightbourne because of a piercing on his left temple.

Walker did eventually remove the piercing after the match had started, which enabled him to enter the game as a sub early in the second half.

Somerset Trojans keeper Shaquille Bean (left) argues with referee's assistant Garic Swainson after the match officials wouldn't let him on the field with his eyebrow pierced.

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Published September 13, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm)

BFA: Referees to take tough stance on body piercings

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