Chinese Football Association (CFA)

Fifa appears to question Chinese Football Association’s tattoo ban in cryptic Weibo post

Football’s world governing body posts picture collage of Messi, Ibrahimovic and Beckham’s body ink after report of Chinese players having to cover up tattoos

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 5:15pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 6:09pm

Fifa appears to have commented on the controversy surrounding Chinese footballers’ tattoos, after members of the national team were reportedly ordered to cover up their body art during matches. 

On its official Weibo account, football’s world governing body posted a picture collage of some of world football’s most famous faces playing for their national teams, who all have prominent tattoos on their bodies, accompanied by a brief and cryptic comment.

“We met, because of your style and characters. We remember, because of your skills”, read the message, accompanied by emojis of a beating heart and a football.

The nine players – and their body ink – showcased are Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho of Brazil, Spanish trio Fernando Torres, Sergio Ramos and Vitolo, and Denmark’s Daniel Agger.

Fans and television viewers were left baffled by the sight of several Chinese players covering up their tattoos during last week’s 6-0 loss to Wales in the China Cup in Guangxi.

Titan Sports then reported that the Chinese Football Association had ordered the players to do so, or face missing out on selection for the game.

Online football fans react as tattoos suddenly become taboo for the China national team

The report also said the rules would soon be extended from international games to the Chinese Super League, but would apply only to Chinese players and not overseas players.

Fans, however, responded with mixed reactions to Fifa’s Weibo post – some supporting the world body’s apparent stance, while there were also comments telling Fifa to “mind your own business”.

“Fifa has done a good job. An all star soccer team with tattoos” said one message, while another Weibo user commented, “Fifa, please step in as this is political interference to soccer, apply a global ban on the Chinese Football Association”.

Another commenter remarked that this would become a battle between the CFA and Fifa – something they were looking forward to – while another wrote “it’s all about human rights even though I don’t like tattoos”.

However, some fans took the CFA’s side, with one comment telling Fifa to “mind your own business” and others wrote “Fifa tries to interfere in our policy” and “Fifa is not doing its job, we should pull out of it”.